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Cultural investment key to the future of our cities
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Image credit: Greater London Authority

Cultural investment key to the future of our cities

Explore the Cultural Cities Enquiry report and discover the transformative potential of cultural investment in UK cities.

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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Arts Council England


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Yesterday we were at the launch of the Cultural Cities Enquiry report, for which BOP were the working and research partner.

This UK-wide enquiry brought together cities, UK Arts Councils and leaders from the cultural, education, design, development, hospitality and technology sectors to investigate how culture continues to improve and enrich the lives of cities.

The overwhelming conclusion of the report was that smart investment through cultural activities can bring enormous benefits to our cities and their people across the UK. There is a huge opportunity to grow cultural investment across the UK, attracting and supporting diverse and talented people and ensuring that our cities thrive through social and economic growth.

The first key recommendation in the report was the creation of Cultural City Compacts

These will bring together civic leaders and partners from culture, business and education to make best use of resources and secure the social and economic benefits that come from embedding arts and culture in civic life.

These Compacts will deliver against local priorities, such as regenerating high streets and post-industrial quarters, establishing creative clusters, developing tourist revenue, supporting local creative talent and building civic engagement.

The other three recommendations were:

  • Corporate Social Venture Funds - These will act as local vehicles for social investment into culture and creative organisations

  • Creative Talent Pathways - The creation of coordinated approaches for the development of creative talent to meet local needs, which government could support by making apprenticeship levy rules more flexible

  • Cultural property assets - Making strategic use of cities’ cultural property assets to revive high streets and city centres, as well as help prevent displacement of cultural activity after urban regeneration.

Debate about the UK’s future is intense. Our culture and our places are vital to this. While these debates continue, the Enquiry offers practical ways forward.

We will be exploring these four recommendations further in a series of forthcoming blogs.

Cultural cities UK

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.

Project Report

Cultural Cities Enquiry

The report outlines the findings from a major study into the international activity of the Arts Council England-supported cultural ecosystem.

International Activity Report

Arts Council England

BOP Consulting was appointed to outline a pilot for a Creative Worker Income Guarantee for Brighton & Hove, working on behalf of the University of Sussex and the ABCD Cultural Recovery Programme. 

Cultural, Creative and Collective Recovery: Exploring a Creative Worker Income Guarantee

University of Sussex

The report on how global cities tackle climate change with cultural policies and programmes. Insights from the World Cities Culture Forum's latest report.

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability – Special Report Prepared for WCCF Global Conversation

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Unique case guide is co-produced with the participating cities of WCCF, highlighting city examples and a global cities approach to evidenced-based policymaking.

Culture Counts: New Approaches to Evidence Based Cultural Policymaking in World Cities

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Working alongside CRAIC, a new research and collaboration centre at Loughborough University, we conducted an extensive survey of virtual production assets throughout the United Kingdom to map the country’s growing ecosystem.

Mapping the UK's Virtual Production Ecosystem

Loughborough University

The World Cities Culture Report (WCCR) 2022 builds on the ground-breaking 2018 and 2015 Reports. It gives insights on the major challenges world cities facing.

World Cities Culture Report 2022

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

BOP's contribution to the 2nd edition of the report UNESCO's Global Creativity Report, examining policies safeguarding 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 for European cultural and creative businesses. Explore the transformative opportunities AI brings to 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)

Research in the Gulf Co-operation Council States in collaboration with British Council and BOP Consulting helps identify opportunities for festival development.

An evidence-base for the growing Gulf festivals sector

British Council

Our research into the museum workforce is launched, emphasizing the importance of conscientiousness and advocating for a diverse and well-supported sector.

Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Museums Galleries Scotland

BOP’s report on creating a healthy night-time economy for the Nanjing City Government demonstrates the importance of cross-cutting policies.

Creating Healthy Night-time Economies in World Cities

Nanjing Creative Center

Findings from our work at Great Ormond Street Hospital reveals how visual arts enhance the patient, visitor, and staff experience.

Creativity in health settings


How is China influencing the future of Cultural Tourism? China's cultural infrastructure projects are redefining the global tourism landscape.

Cultural Infrastructure for the 21st Century

Chengdu Media Group

Our new report for UNESCO sets out the huge global impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector. We estimate $750 billion lost for the CCI and 10 million job cuts.

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


Our analysis of the strengths and challenges of music in the Midlands report published for Arts Council England.

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

New handbook 'Making Space for Culture' explores how world cities address the challenge of preserving cultural infrastructure while promoting growth.

How can cities make space for culture?

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Related Projects

Strategy and Policy Design

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist

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