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Evaluation of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021

Evaluation of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021


City of Culture Trust, Arts Council England, National Community Lottery Fund, National Heritage Lottery Fund, Spirit of 2012, Coventry City Council, Coventry University, University of Warwick, Arts and Humanities Research Council

Project team

Nick Henry, Richard Tomlins, Tim Hammerton 

Individual Focus Studies undertaken by academic colleagues 

Ben Kyneswood (Coventry Digital)


City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council, University of Warwick, Amion Consulting, MB Associates, Culture Counts, Indigo

Duration of the project


Project overview

Ahead of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture (UK CoC 2021), a comprehensive strategy to measure performance and evaluation was published (January 2020).

This programme of research, evaluation, exchange and dissemination projects and activities enacted and reported against the strategy. All the materials are hosted on Evaluating Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 ( which was generated as part of the City Change Through Culture: Securing the Place Legacy of Coventry City of Culture 2021 project.

Impact statement

The UK CoC 2021 was distinctive in seeking a stronger balance of social, cultural and environmental outcomes, alongside the now common economic impacts based upon visitors and their expenditure, and potential and cultural creative sector development (as seen in the Theory/Story of Change).

This research and evaluation project delivered the largest and most innovative set of evaluation activities ever undertaken for a City of Culture. The materials generated have already influenced the competition for City of Culture 2025, a number of subsequent cultural event evaluations (for example, Commonwealth Games 2022; Eurovision), is supporting Bradford 2025 and has informed aspects of DCMS development of its Cultural and Heritage Capital Framework.


Around 50 outputs are available on the evaluation platform. 

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023