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Culture is about people and the places they inhabit

It brings us together and it defines communities, providing an identity and a voice. In our increasingly urbanised world, cities have a unique and undeniable role to play in supporting culture. Cities serve large diverse populations, are vital creative hubs for wider areas, and provide opportunities for the next generation of artists and creatives.

The contribution of culture to cities is evident throughout the UK. Culture makes cities more prosperous: it has helped to catalyse urban renewal in cities and anchor regeneration. It strengthens city economies through tourism, the night-time economy and creative industries – and in attracting talented people to live, work and study.

This UK-wide enquiry brings together cities, UK Arts Councils and leaders from the cultural, education, design, development, hospitality and technology sectors. We will consider how to ensure that culture continues to improve and enrich the lives of cities and citizens in more and deeper ways.

Many studies have looked at why culture should be resourced, considering the impact on the lives of individuals and communities.

The enquiry will seek to advance the debate by taking a close look at how culture can be more effectively resourced across the UK, to multiply the benefits and ensure they can be shared by all in our society.

Our ambition is to provide a set of practical recommendations that will enable cities to make best use of new and existing resources for culture, to unlock maximum social and economic value for communities. 

We need to identify where the greatest opportunities are for unlocking resources, to realise the full potential culture in UK cities.
It is not a question of why, but How this will be achieved.

Through this Enquiry, we will:

  • Consider the current channels and instruments of investment into culture in order to determine how these can be used to greatest effect.
  • Consider alternative models of channelling resources into culture – both economic and human.  This will include an examination of international examples, and how these may be applied in a UK context.
  • Present practical recommendations for local and national policy-makers, influencers, funders and deliverers to aid city development planning.


Our enquiry has four workstreams:

  • Tax and Public Finance
  • Property and Development
  • Sponsorship and Giving
  • Commercialisation

Evidence will be drawn from a broad range of sources:

  • Invitation-only roundtable events in six UK cities
  • Expert interviews in the UK and internationally
  • Literature review
  • Call for evidence, open until 22 June 2018
To find out more about these workstreams and submit evidence for the Enquiry, please click here: Have Your Say


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