Image Gradient
BOP Consulting Logo | HomeButton
Culture: The cornerstone of the UK
image gradient

Image Credit: Jamie Davies on Unsplash

Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

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.

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

Planning a new project?

If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.

LOCATION

Europe

CLIENT

Arts Council England

SECTOR

Projects Sectors

Culture is experiential in nature and is encompassed by interactions of an intangible nature, whether it be through a theatre performance or a museum showcase. 


But how has the pandemic affected culture on the high street and what kind of place does culture have in a post-pandemic world?


In July 2021, we published our report for Arts Council England on the potential and drive for bringing more cultural experiences to high streets in which we presented a thematic literature review, results from our polling survey, and a series of case studies.


Our key findings:


  • During 2020, with more than 17,500 chain store outlets closing on the high streets, culture has remained more resilient despite the restrictions of the pandemic;

  • Half of adults (50%) reported that they would want to see more cultural experiences on their high streets. Those within the 25-34 age range and those identifying as black Britons expressed this sentiment even more strongly, with 54% and 57% of these respective groups expressing their preference for more cultural experiences along the high street;

  • High streets have an untapped audience with younger people, as evidenced by 25% of those aged 18-25 reporting that they expect to spend more time on high streets post-Covid;

  • About 62% of UK adults agreed that the presence of cultural experiences on the high street increase their civic pride in their local area, particularly for women, those in the North and Midlands, and those aged 55-64.

  • In comparison to retail, culture requires more in-person experiences and therefore may require greater coordination in terms of events and space management, marketing, and place branding.


Strengthening the presence of cultural experiences on the high street can allow local areas to resist widespread closures with the move of retail to online platforms. In particular, in a post-pandemic context, high streets should recentre their purpose around being multifunctional spaces for social connection and building place identity.


You can download the full report below.

This report points to a body of evidence that demonstrates the role culture and creativity plays in attracting footfall to the high street, generating spend and creating civic pride.

Project Report

Culture and High Streets – Final Report

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

UNESCO

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

GOSH Arts

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

UNESCO

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

Nesta

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

VE:Forum

Related Projects

Research, Data and Insight, Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Jonathan Todd - Chief Economist | BOP Consulting

Jonathan Todd

Chief Economist