In With A Bang_DSC_4493_(c) Patrick Mateer

City of Culture Interim Impact Findings

Interim findings evaluating the first three months of Hull’s UK City of Culture year have been released today by the University of Hull. The results demonstrate that high levels of participation and a strong sense of pride amongst residents have already been achieved.

  • 9 in 10 residents have attended or experienced a cultural event or activity as part of the UK’s City of Culture
  • Over 1.4 million visits to cultural events, exhibitions or activities as part of the first season of Hull UK City of Culture activity
  • 70% of residents agree or strongly agree that UK City of Culture is having a positive impact on the lives of local people 

Extraordinarily high levels of cultural engagement were measured with a substantial majority of residents, 9 in 10 residents have attended or experienced a cultural event or activity as part of Hull UK City of Culture. The figure for cultural participation is an exceptional achievement: the proportion of residents participating in the arts in 2013, around the time that Hull was bidding to be Hull’s UK City of Culture, was 36%.

The evaluation of the first three months of 2017’s UK City of Culture programme is being led by the University of Hull’s Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI), as part of the University’s strategic partnership with Hull 2017.

The interim findings evaluating the first three months of Hull’s City of Culture year are released ahead of a full report which is expected to be issued in the spring of 2018.  The evaluation looks at four key impact areas, namely arts and culture; place making; economy and society and wellbeing. The interim findings are as follows:

Arts and Culture

Hull’s City of Culture year is having a positive impact on the development of existing audiences; new audiences are developing; the programme is perceived as high quality; and the capacity of the cultural sector continues to grow.

  • 9 in 10 residents have attended or experienced a cultural event or activity as part of Hull UK City of Culture.
  • Over half a million visits took place to Hull’s museums and galleries in the first four months of the year. Ferens Art gallery and Hull Maritime Museum have seen year on year increases of over 500%. It is confidently predicted that 2017 will be easily the most successful year ever for the service in terms of visitor numbers.
  • 342,000 visits were made to the ‘Made in Hull’ opening week. 94% of the audience agreed that the event had made them feel more connected with the stories of Hull and its people and that they had learnt more about Hull’s history and heritage.
  • Of the 1.1m people passing through Queen Victoria Square during the Blade installation, over 420,000 people interacted with the artwork. Over half (50.5%) stated that Blade was the main thing that influenced their visit to the city centre that day, and 46.2% would not have come to Hull City Centre on the day they visited Blade, if the installation had not been there.
  • 38% of people booking for The Hypocrite were new audiences at Hull Truck Theatre.

Place Making

The wealth of media coverage secured to date has contributed significantly to the increased positive perception of Hull as a place to live and visit, as well as to the civic pride of residents.

  • Residents’ pride to live in Hull has increased (by 4%: from 70% in December 2016 to 74% in March 2017, based on data gathered through a city-wide residents’ survey).
  • The most notable increase has been the 9% rise in residents who would speak positively about the city to someone not from Hull (from 55% in December 2016 to 64% March 2017, based on data gathered through a city-wide residents’ survey).
  • Media coverage has generated 4,221 pieces of coverage about Hull’s UK City of Culture celebrations in the first three months of the programme. The value of media coverage seen exceeds £10.1m in advertising value equivalent.

Economy

The full economic impact of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 will take time to be adequately measured but some initial indicators demonstrate significant benefits.

  • Hotel occupancy was up almost 14% (13.8%) in the first season compared to the same period in 2016.
  • Hull Trains reported a 17% increase in passengers in January 2017 in comparison to January 2016.
  • Since 2013, Hull City Council report the creation of approximately 89 new businesses (or businesses that have changed use) within the city centre and 550 new jobs - including new roles within the cultural sector. 
  • Over half (50.8%) of city centre businesses reported positive impacts during Made in Hull, linked to increased footfall, diversification of customers, enhanced sales and positive atmosphere in the city.

Society and wellbeing

High levels of participation in and satisfaction with cultural events were reported.

  • 70% of residents agree or strongly agree that UK City of Culture is having a positive impact on the lives of local people.
  • 98% of audiences for Made in Hull said that they had had an enjoyable experience – reporting happiness, surprise and anticipation.
  • Over 100,000 hours of volunteering has taken place so far.
Our interim findings show that Hull’s City of Culture year - and the people and organisations that are contributing to it - is demonstrating extraordinary success so far. We look forward to unveiling a full report next year. Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull

Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “The Culture, Place and Policy Institute is a key part of the University of Hull’s role as a strategic partner – and exclusive academic research partner – of Hull 2017. Research undertaken at the Institute will help make Hull a blueprint for future cities of culture, inform future policy across the globe and provide advice to key stakeholders. Our interim findings show that Hull’s City of Culture year - and the people and organisations that are contributing to it - is demonstrating extraordinary success so far. We look forward to unveiling a full report next year.”

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: "As we approach our third season Freedom, it goes almost without saying that this year has been quite a ride already. There's been an incredible response to the cultural programme and we are thrilled that 9 in 10 people living in the city have tried at least one cultural activity. Let's not forget, this is just a snapshot - there is plenty more to come and we hope people will continue to try things out, not just this year, but beyond 2017. Of course, none of this would be possible without the vision of the council, which successfully bid for Hull to become UK City of Culture, the support and collaboration of partners and residents, as well as the strong community of artists that will continue to ensure it remains a vibrant cultural centre."

Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council said: “With six months still to go, it’s wonderful to see the difference UK City of Culture has made to Hull and how residents and visitors alike are responding to the amazing arts and culture we’ve seen across the whole city.  The year is achieving everything we could possibly have hoped for and more – from increasing pride and participation to raising the profile of Hull and improving the economy.  My thanks go to everyone involved in making it happen and to all of the residents, volunteers and visitors who have already made 2017 such a memorable and game-changing year for Hull.”

The research data include in-depth consultations that have taken place with local and national external stakeholders, evaluation of the main programme events and a residents’ survey. The research was carried out by the University of Hull’s CPPI which examines the impact of culture on a wide range of areas including economy, health, civic life, tourism and a city’s image, identity and pride.

Media Enquiries

Please contact the Press Office on