Culture, Place and Policy Institute


Our Culture, Place and Policy Institute stimulates research on cultural activities, cultural policy and culture-led urban and regional development across the University.

Carried out in collaboration with partners at local, national and international level, this research explores the impact of cultural activities in a range of areas including the economy, health and wellbeing, civic life, tourism, and city image, identity and pride.

Our ambition is for the institute’s research to help inform future public policy at local, national and international levels.

Our work

As the exclusive academic research partner for the UK's City of Culture 2017, the institute is leading on research into the processes, impacts and legacies of Hull’s current position as the UK City of Culture 2017. The intention is that the findings will inform the development of the post-2017 legacy strategy and help make Hull a blueprint for cities considering cultural investment as a tool for urban development.

The institute is also collaborating with the University of Malta and the Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018 Foundation in organisingn of the international conference 'Living Cities, Liveable Spaces: Place Making and Identity', which will be held in Valletta in November 2017.

The institute engages in academic and contract research, as well as in consultancy work and public engagement activities.

Our challenge

Understanding the impact on urban, social and economic renewal

The role and impact of culture and place-making is often underestimated, undervalued or misunderstood. Yet there are significant benefits to the economy, health and wellbeing, civic life, tourism and a place’s image, identity and pride.

Research conducted around Hull in this field is intended to inform future national and international policy. It can serve as a blueprint for cities or places considering cultural investment as a tool for urban or social renewal.

The institute’s purpose is to stimulate research into cultural activities, cultural policy and culture-led urban and regional development through a creative, collaborative, interdisciplinary, innovation-oriented and critical approach.


The Institute made a successful bid to Arts Council England’s ‘Creative People and Places’ Scheme, announced in January 2017. The bid was led by the Goodwin Development Trust, in partnership with four organisations: the University of Hull, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Hull Culture and Leisure, and the Freedom Festival. The total value of the bid is £2.4 million.

Read about achievements


The Culture, Place and Policy Institute has also played a key role in the delivery of a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the setting up of a research network on the links between the arts and sport.

The Arts in Sport: Sport in the Arts


The institute has also secured consultancy work with prestigious clients including UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Mayor of London and Lisbon City Council.

UK City of Culture Interim Impact Findings

Cultural Transformations

As we approach the end of a phenomenal year, the University of Hull is preparing for a major conference to look back and reflect upon Hull’s UK City of Culture experience.

In With A Bang_DSC_4493_(c) Patrick Mateer

Our impact

The Institute led the University's successful bid for £2.4 million in funding from Arts Council England for the Hull Creative People and Places project, delivering culture to all corners of the city. Researchers are already working with University colleagues in the Business School, the Logistics Institute and Hull York Medical School to assess the impact of Hull's position as UK City of Culture. The Institute has secured consultancies with prestigious clients including UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 and Lisbon City Council.


Postgraduate research

The Culture, Place and Policy Institute currently has four PhD scholarships focusing on UK City of Culture 2017 and its implications for urban regeneration, community arts, political culture and informal education. One of the institutes longer-term aims is to develop postgraduate teaching and training.

Franco Bianchini

Our People

Professor Franco Bianchini

Having worked with several European Capitals of Culture, Professor Franco Bianchini brings a wealth of experience to his role as Director of the University’s Culture, Place and Policy Institute.

Professor Bianchini acted as an adviser to Liverpool Culture Company on the preparation of their successful bid for the 2008 European Capital of Culture and was a member of the team preparing the successful bid by the city of Matera, Italy, for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2019. He was also part of the judging panels for the European Capitals of Culture 2005 and 2012.

Professor Bianchini is a renowned authority in and widely published author of cultural policy and planning research. 

Collaborate with us