Cover of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 final evaluation report (Photograph: Dylan Parrin)
Ahead of the UK City of Culture 2021 (UK CoC 2021) a Performance Measurement and Evaluation Strategy (including a Theory/Story of Change) was developed. This has underpinned all subsequent monitoring and evaluation activity, including reporting.
The final evaluation report for Coventry’s time as UK CoC 2021 covers in detail the:
- period of Coventry bidding for and subsequently winning the UK CoC 2021 title in December 2017
- build-up period, the UK CoC 2021 year which ran from May 2021 to May 2022
- immediate post-year legacy plans
- period following the Coventry City of Culture Trust (the Trust) entering into administration.
The report does not provide an evaluation of any legacy activity undertaken by the Trust, as the focus is on the UK CoC 2021 year and impact which the title brought to the city.
The final evaluation report is presented in four parts:
- Part 1: Context – looks at the UK City of Culture competition and award of the title, and briefly introduces Coventry’s year as the UK CoC in 2021. It provides context on Coventry prior to UK CoC 2021, before discussing the impact that Covid-19 had on UK CoC 2021 and the city, including to the tourism, hospitality and creative/cultural sectors.
- Part 2: Evaluation Approach – details the approach taken to and challenges involved in evaluating and capturing appropriate monitoring data for UK CoC 2021.
- Part 3: UK CoC 2021 Programme Insights – includes high-level programme insights from UK CoC 2021, such as its reach, audiences, influence on the local arts sector, economic impact and social impact.
- Part 4: Achievements, Impacts, and Legacy – looks at the high-level impact that was achieved and the legacy of UK CoC 2021. It concludes by looking to the future.
At the end of the report are appendices that provide additional data related to the output and outcome indicators outlined in the Performance Measurement and Evaluation Strategy.
The report leverages a range of supplementary sources, including in-depth secondary analyses, extensive reports, and comprehensive evaluations of key activities within the UK CoC 2021 year.
In substantiating findings, the monitoring and evaluation team relied on insights from five key additional reports and datasets.
The Programme List was constructed using known data including ticketing system data, printed publicity, producer-maintained records and data from partners.
The list is non-exhaustive, but provides a strong indication of programme activity, where it took place and the characteristics of the programme.
Indigo Ltd, was commissioned to review and verify audience engagement figures.
Coventry UK CoC 2021 achieved over 1 million points of engagement with audiences. This figure was derived through mixed methods – mainly through ticket allocations, but also other methods for free and unticketed events and online activity.
- Coventry Household Survey
- UK CoC 2021 Household Sentiment Survey
- Audience Surveys for UK CoC 2021 events and activities
The analysis aimed to provide insights into the impact of UK CoC 2021 on Coventry’s local population, as well as its potential to drive cultural engagement and promote the city’s regeneration.
These cases were chosen because of their technical and resource-based characteristics, which made them representative of stakeholders and social outcomes across UK CoC 2021 events.
- quantification of the attendances, local spending, employment, Gross Value Added (GVA),
volunteering, funding, image and other impacts of UK CoC 2021 at a local level
- a value for money (VfM) assessment of UK CoC 2021 at the national level, as well as a place-based analysis in compliance with HM Treasury and relevant Departmental guidance.
In addition, extensive research and evaluation activities were undertaken across the lifespan of UK CoC 2021; these activities were supported by the monitoring and evaluation team.
This evaluation website therefore provides a comprehensive archive of the wider independent research outputs and findings to support insights and share the lessons learned from the UK CoC 2021 year.
The final evaluation report was predominantly written by Mark Scott, Professor Jonothan Neelands (both Warwick Business School) and Professor Nick Henry (Coventry University) on behalf of the monitoring and evaluation team.
Other contributors included Tim Healey, Valerie de Souza (both Coventry City Council), Dr Haley Beer, Dr Andrew Anzel, Jo Truslove (all Warwick Business School), Dr Richard Tomlins, Tim Hammerton (both Coventry University) and Clare Mitchell (consultant).