Evaluation of the Liverpool City Region Boroughs of Culture programme (2019-23)

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the first in the country with devolved power over culture, launched the Boroughs of Culture programme in March 2018.

The title, which formed part of a broader Culture and Creativity Strategy, is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the city region, as part of the 1 per cent for Culture programme with a dedicated budget of £200,000. The Liverpool City Region Devolution Agreement addresses the legacy of Liverpool 2008 as ‘transformational’, stating the intention to place culture “in the heart of its strategy to accelerate economic growth, improve skills and further develop its distinctive visitor offer” (Liverpool City Region, 2015, p. 14).

Throughout 2019, a dedicated steering group of representatives from the Liverpool City Region, each Borough, and colleagues from Liverpool John Moores University was formed to develop an evaluation framework for the Liverpool City Region Boroughs of Culture programme.

The research that emerges from the evaluation of the Boroughs of Culture, led by Senior Research Fellow Dr Rafaela Ganga, aims to reposition the debate of the value of culture in the Liverpool city region. A policy analysis (Bacchi, 2009) was developed of the documents that frame the Boroughs of Culture, namely the Liverpool City Region Devolution Agreement, and The Culture and Creativity Strategy, followed by each Borough’s cultural policy.

The final product of this co-design exercise, is a holistic evaluation framework, which comprises socially orientated outcomes including health and wellbeing, and the contribution of the event to the visitor economy and the growth of the Liverpool City Region’s cultural and creative industries.

The methodological strategy and instruments are co-designed and delivered annually with each Boroughs of Culture programme and delivery team to capture the plurality of specialisms.


Recent publications:

Ganga, R. (2022). ‘Evaluating Cultural Legacy – From Policy to Engaged Research’ In Wise N, Maguire K. (eds.) A Research Agenda for Event Impacts. Cheltenham: Edward Elger 978 1 83910 924 9.

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