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Cultural Cities Enquiry

Enriching UK cities through smart investment in culture.

The purpose of this report is to consider how we can radically increase the ability of our cities to use culture to drive inclusive growth.

The Cultural Cities Enquiry (CCE) strongly advocates for diversity in the cultural sector. For culture to release the potential of all people in our cities, the cultural workforce should better reflect the diversity of our communities, and cities could be more strategic about nurturing talent for creative industries.


Greater coordination at city level can drive coordinated development programmes for creative talent. “We have,” as Marcus Davey of the Roundhouse told the Enquiry, “a great opportunity to release a huge reservoir of potential and ideas through being strategic about including all people in our work forces.”


Diversity fuels creativity. However, in England, in comparison with the whole working age population, people from a BAME background and disabled people are under-represented across the arts and culture workforce, with women underrepresented in certain leadership roles.


The Enquiry makes recommendations for improving upon this:


  • Cultural organisations should set self-determined targets for diversity of their leadership teams and boards, within the context of local demographics and their artistic mission. They should publish these ambitions as well as annual progress towards them

  • City Compacts should prioritise diversity within the cultural sector and the relevance of cultural offerings to diverse audiences within their business plans. They should monitor progress, providing support and challenge to cultural organisations

  • Arts councils and other funders can support this by collecting and disseminating relevant data on diversity, sharing best practice. They should also make funding for core funded organisations conditional on commitment and progress towards greater diversity

  • Compacts should prioritise the development of creative talent pathways within business plans. They should support the development of city-wide creative skills strategies, bringing together the cultural sector, education and business partners. Creative talent development agencies could include an Apprenticeship Training Association to run cultural and creative apprenticeship programmes across the city

  • Governments can support this process by enabling more flexible use of Apprenticeship Levies, and structuring apprenticeships for the creative industries.


BOP was a member of the CCE’s working group as well as acting as key research partner.


This is the second of a series of blogs related to findings of the CCE report. Our other blogs looked at the themes of leadership, investment, and place.

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Mar 7, 2019

Green Cities helping climate change through culture and sustainability

Nov 4, 2021

How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability

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Culture and the Climate Emergency

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5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period

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Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

Dec 4, 2020

Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place

Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?

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Central London’s celebrated

Sep 23, 2020

This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery

Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril

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COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

Aug 21, 2020

Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3

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COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

Jul 30, 2020

The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2

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COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Jul 20, 2020

Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal

COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place

Paul Owens

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Jul 7, 2020

Investing in recovery, planning for transformation

COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1

Paul Owens

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Jun 30, 2020

Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis

COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries

Paul Owens

Take planning and collaboration to whole a new level.

Jun 3, 2020

In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level

‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’

Paul Owens

Relief, Recovery and Renewal

May 13, 2020

Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis

Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future

Paul Owens

The Golden Thread in the 2020s

Dec 20, 2019

A cause for optimism

Weaving the Golden Thread into the 2020s

Paul Owens

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By BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

Jonathan is an economist with over a decade’s experience in impact assessment and evaluation, and high-level policy experience, particularly within the cultural and creative sectors.

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

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Jonathan Todd

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist