Evaluation of Cultural Destinations

Client: Arts Council England

The Cultural Destinations programme was a £3m initiative supported by Arts Council England and VisitEngland (VE). It aimed to encourage the cultural and tourism sectors to work together in innovative ways to raise the profile of culture in local visitor economies. The programme ran for three years, from April 2014 to March 2017. Ten partnerships were chosen for funding support: Bristol and Bath; Calderdale; Cornwall; Cumbria; Essex; Kent; Lincoln; Liverpool; Nottinghamshire/ Derbyshire; and Sheffield.

In 2015, Arts Council England and VisitEngland commissioned SQW and The Tourism Company (TTC) to conduct an evaluation of the programme against its overall aims, and identify the key learning points for the future.

SQW and TTC's approach to the programme-level evaluation involved the development of an evaluation framework and supporting tools to aid the ten localities in assessing their performance on a consistent basis across the programme. The evaluation also included in-depth interviews with project managers, reviewing material commissioned or collected by the destinations to evidence the impact of their own activities, and an online survey of stakeholders.

The final report of the evaluation is available to download here