Evaluation of Cultural Destinations

Client: Arts Council England

The Cultural Destinations programme was designed by Arts Council England and VisitEngland (VE) to encourage the cultural and tourism sectors to work together at local level, with the aim of raising the presence and profile of culture in local visitor economies. The primary funder is the Arts Council England, with VE providing other forms of support. Since 2014, there have been two funding rounds, each of £3m across three years. Awards have been made to twenty local partnerships across England, eight of which benefited in both rounds.

SQW led evaluations of activities and results in each phase. The first focused on progress made by the partnerships and learning; in the second phase, the emphasis on learning remained, alongside a focus on achievements and overall effectiveness. The emphasis from the outset was on innovative activities, and the funding has resulted in new collaborative activities that would not otherwise have been developed and delivered. However, most partnerships had to be built up from little, if any, previous collaboration, and the aims for the second evaluation included the identification of barriers and enablers both at project and programme levels, and assessment of their significance.

The final report of the evaluation is available to download here