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A Golden Age for Heritage
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A Golden Age for Heritage - our major new research for HLF published

The story of £1.6bn in investment into the fabric of the UK's heritage.

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

Paul is a leading international advisor and practitioner in cultural policy and creative economy. He is Co-Founder of BOP, and alongside his fellow directors he has pioneered now well-established methods to measure the impact of cultural policy. 

Paul Owens - Founder and Director | BOP Consulting

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National Lottery Heritage Fund


Projects Sectors

Today the Heritage Lottery Fund publishes BOP’s report into the impact of its major grants programme. It is the story of a 1.6bn investment into the fabric of the UK’s heritage over the last twenty years, with over 100 individual projects completed.

The impact of this investment goes far beyond repair and restoration. Our report uncovers a story of transformation in which heritage asset of all shapes and sizes – from national icons like the British Museum and Stonehenge to regional attractions like the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Museum of Docklands – have been invented, re-imagined and opened out to a wider public.

A few impact headlines:

  • 94 million visits a year are now made to the attractions that received these grants – up by 53% since before the projects took place.

  • The biggest increase in visits are from families and young people.

  • Local tourism revenue has increased by just under £500million, creating an extra 9.600 jobs.

  • 2,536 new jobs have been created in the funded organisations.

  • Half the grant recipients have extended their work with schools, creating 58 new education spaces.

Beneath the headlines lie important lessons about leadership and innovation - especially how funders and grantees have worked together – not always comfortably! – to rethink the role of heritage organisations and to open out to new, larger audiences.

Read the summary report here, and access over 70 case studies and a rich store of visual material.

Cultural Heritage

Understanding the impact of £1.2bn in grants

Project Report

Review of HLF major grants programme

Building on our contribution to the second edition of the report in 2018, BOP has led as the Data and Research partner on this report to help find out how policies can protect people working in the creative and cultural sectors.

UNESCO's Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity Report – Addressing culture as a global public good


Our strategy will guide the creation of a new digital service aiming at supporting and developing the creative scene in Downtown Kingston.

Leveraging the creative potential of Downtown Kingston through technology

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

Our research into the UK's high streets found that 69% of people think culture on their high street makes their area a better place to live.

Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

Arts Council England

BOP’s updated Handbook for the Inter-American Development Bank sets out strategies for sustainability and urban resilience

Creative and Cultural Industries and Urban Revitalisation in the post-COVID era

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

We investigated the potential impact of AI on the cultural and creative industries.

Opportunities and Challenges of AI for the Cultural and Creative Industries

European Commission

Published today: ‘Design for Good: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards’, a new publication from the RSA, co-authored by BOP

A History of Bright Ideas: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for Arts (RSA)

New skills research in the Gulf Co-operation Council States

An evidence-base for the growing Gulf festivals sector

British Council

Our research into the museum workforce is launched

Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Museums Galleries Scotland

BOP’s report for Nanjing City Government demonstrates the importance of cross-cutting policies with a compelling cultural offer at the core

Creating Healthy Night-time Economies in World Cities

Nanjing Creative Center

Findings from our work at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Creativity in health settings


How is China influencing the future of Cultural Tourism?

Cultural Infrastructure for the 21st Century

Chengdu Media Group

Based on our impact analysis we estimate $750 billion in lost GVA for the CCI as a result of the pandemic so far.

Economic impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural and Creative Industries


Our analysis of the strengths & challenges of music in the Midlands is published

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

New handbook published for city leaders

How can cities make space for culture?

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Our report sheds new light on how building the capacity of the heritage sector can assist working internationally

International working builds stronger heritage sector at home

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Our new report with Nesta published

Opportunities for China-UK Cooperation through Equity Crowdfunding


Our new research report for the National Trust

Protect urban heritage to prevent growth in inequality

National Trust

Our latest research for the Reading Agency shows we should read year-round

Reading is for life, not just for August

The Reading Agency

Our review of the Scottish Animation Sector, commissioned by Creative Scotland, has just been published

Review of the Scottish Animation Sector

Creative Scotland

UK-wide study of visitor experience practice provides new benchmarks for cultural and visitor attractions

Sharing Operations and Visitor Experience insight


Related Projects

Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Paul Owens - Founder and Director | BOP Consulting

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director