Evaluation of City of Culture Transforming Leadership Programme


Arts Council England (ACE)

Coventry University Team:

Prof Nick Henry
Kevin Broughton
Victoria Barker


1st Oct 2019 to 31st Mar 2022

Value to Coventry University:


Total Value:



Coventry City of Culture Trust, people make it work, CU Social Enterprise CIC, Coventry University, Beatfreeks, Warwick Arts Centre, TRG

Project Overview

Coventry City of Culture Trust-led Transforming Leadership programme is one of eighteen funded project nationally by Arts Council England. The Coventry programme is delivered in partnership with local, regional and national partners, and has a specific focus on diversity and broadening cultural leadership approaches. CBiS are leading the evaluation of the programme.

Project Objectives

The national Transforming Leadership programme was launched to address specific issues around diversity across leadership, opportunities for emerging and early career leaders, and the development of executive skills at senior levels.

Coventry’s place-based programme supports a diverse cohort of established, independent and emerging leaders as part of the legacy of Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021. The curriculum and programme delivery aspects are deliberately co-created with participants.

CBiS will be working within evaluation design principles and a methodology which aligns with the City of Culture Trust’s strategic approach, and to the outcome-led / partner-driven model deployed across the city.  

Our evaluation works within the strategic framework of the City of Culture evaluation programme to maximise efficiency, impact and the lessons we can share. Working with programme stakeholders we are developing a Theory of Change model that is bespoke to this programme, and nested within City of Culture and ACE strategic objectives.

The evaluation follows the key phases of work from recruitment, through delivery, to impact as the programme develops. The programme supports a development cohort of fifteen, whose journey as cultural change agents will be tracked during delivery, at the end of the project, and in 2024 (again, aligned with the City of Culture Legacy impact assessment). We are also exploring the journeys of a sample of applicants who were not selected for the main programme, but who have been given support to deliver a focused cultural change project.

Impact Statement

Societal impact: the programme will contribute to the legacy of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 by creating a minimum of fifteen cultural change agents who are empowered to shape their own future and that of the cultural sector.

Academic impact: the formative evaluation approach will learn alongside programme development, and contribute to deeper understanding of cultural leadership and diversity in both leadership and programme recruitment approaches. 


The evaluation produced reports for funders on achievements against objectives, and the impacts of the programme on participants, stakeholders and learning about leadership.

Evaluation will be designed to provide knowledge transfer and development to those who are the focus of the evaluation.

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