Source: M.E.L Research

The Core Monitoring and Evaluation Team

The Core Monitoring and Evaluation Team (M&E) was a partnership between the University of Warwick, Coventry University and Coventry City Council (Insights team). The team met regularly (usually fortnightly) from late 2018, before the City of Culture year began, and continued to meet until late 2023, at the conclusion of the evaluation phase.

Although the M&E team was independent from the Coventry City of Culture Trust, there were regular discussions, as the Trust was responsible for the capture, performance monitoring and measurement of necessary and sufficient time-sensitive data to satisfy funders and stakeholder requirements.

The universities were responsible for providing research and expertise to inform the design of performance measurement and evaluation, track progress towards outcomes and impacts and for the preparation of the evaluation reports. This included interpreting data provided by the Trust and City Council and supporting an array of deeper and wider research and evaluation activities relating to impact evaluation of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 (UK CoC 2021) over time.

The City Council regularly conducts Household Surveys which ask a representative sample of Coventry residents about their views of their local area, city, behaviour, services, concerns and cultural participation. These data, amongst other demographic, housing and environment, economy and prospects, and health and wellbeing data, enabled cultural and non-cultural data − including a number of surveys capturing the sentiment of residents specifically related to UK CoC 2021 (undertaken by M.E.L Research) − to be compared and contrasted with other routine socio-economic and place-based metrics. An example is the Coventry Cultural Place Profiler.

The M&E team was responsible for reporting and disseminating findings to a wide range of audiences and providing evidence-led recommendations.


Jonothan Neelands was part of a panel, and described the work of the M&E team, at the Cultural Policy and Evaluation Summit, on 25 June 2021, in the early stages of the UK CoC 2021 year. (Starts 25:30)

Technical Reference Group

The Core Team received expert support from a Technical Reference Group (TRG) which acted as an independent and impartial group. Led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, other representatives included Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research CouncilSpirit of 2012NESTAWhat Works Centre for WellbeingUCL, the University of Derby, the British Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The remit of the Technical Reference Group was to:

  • support the M&E activities through guidance on appropriate methodological approaches, validation of surveys and ethics around the collection of data
  • assist in identifying gaps in the reporting data and how new data sources can be aggregated alongside current datasets
  • provide input to ongoing M&E activities where appropriate, drawing on the expert knowledge and experience of the members of the group
  • guide to ensure relevant evaluation is being undertaken to meet funding body requirements
  • advise on the dissemination of data and key results from the M&E activities to key stakeholders, funders and other interested parties.

Harman Sagger from DCMS, chair of the TRG, was part of the panel speaking at the Cultural Policy and Evaluation Summit, on 25 June 2021, in the early stages of the UK CoC 2021 year. (Starts 45:23)

Arts and Humanities Research Council Funding

The results outlined on this website reflect a variety of UK CoC 2021 activities, funded by different funding bodies. The website also includes work undertaken as part of Arts and Humanities Funding Council (AHRC) projects − Coventry place-based Knowledge ExchangeUK Cities of Culture and AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship − that share lessons learned for future cultural mega-events.


This website is designed to share results and findings of the UK CoC 2021 M&E process and related activities, and respects the privacy of its users.


The majority of the pages of this website were created by Tim Hammerton, Centre for Creative Economies, Coventry University, by summarising reports, editing content and writing original material.

The website was redesigned by Unity ahead of the launch of the final evaluation report.


This website reflects a variety of UK CoC 2021 activities, funded by different funding bodies. It has been created as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project City Change Through Culture: Securing the Place Legacy of Coventry City of Culture 2021 (Grant Reference AH/W008769/1).

Coventry City of Culture 2021 logo Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) logo