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Jonathan Todd, BOP’s Chief Economist, spoke alongside Darren Henley, CEO, Arts Council England, and Sophie Miremadi, Director – External Affairs, Virgin Money, at the Beyond the Hype: Re-wiring the Growth Agenda conference.


BOP was invited to discuss the context for the Cultural Cities Enquiry, which BOP has worked on throughout this year. These issues are relevant to other BOP projects aiming to achieve culture-led economic growth.


Some key contexts for the Enquiry:


  • Pressure on local authority budgets persists: This traditional source of cultural funding has declined over the past decade, necessitating new models of cultural funding

  • Worst regional inequalities in Europe: The wealth, health and productivity divergences between UK regions are substantial

  • Culture strengthens civic purpose: The poorest parts of the UK can feel like their best days are behind them. People and places with limited pride in themselves tend to underperform. But culture can help turn this around. The Hepworth Wakefield, for example, has brought new confidence to West Yorkshire, helping to catalyse further investment in the town

  • Culture to put the place-based into industrial strategy: The past decade has seen a revival of industrial strategy. Culture makes places distinctive, while the missions of cultural institutions can complement those of local industrial strategies. These institutions should, therefore, be confident and agile in building new alliances

  • Scale-up success: Many cultural institutions are already making these partnerships with local industry. But these successes need to be accelerated. We look forward to the Cultural Cities Enquiry articulating how this might occur when it reports in the new year.

Unlocking culture’s contribution to local growth

Reflections on the Cultural Cities Enquiry

Nov 16, 2018

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

Paul Owens

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Apr 22, 2021

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

Culture and the Climate Emergency

Paul Owens

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?

Callum Lee

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

Jonathan Todd

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

Paul Owens

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

Paul Owens

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

Callum Lee

Managing Director

Callum leads the BOP team, its portfolio and strategic partnerships. His cultural and creative industries expertise is founded on leading analytical research and policy formulation in the UK and internationally.

Callum Lee - Managing Director  | BOP Consulting

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Callum Lee

Callum Lee

Managing Director