Key findings and reflections from the evaluation of Hull’s UK City of Culture year will be released as the University of Hull hosts a major conference to explore the results, successes and lessons from the city’s year in the cultural spotlight.
The evaluation by the University of Hull’s Culture, Place and Policy Institute (CPPI), will be presented and explored during a conference at the University of Hull (19-21 November 2019). The report examines the impacts of the year across five key areas: arts and culture; place making; economy; society and wellbeing; and partnerships and development.
The conference – Cultural Transformations – What’s Next? Issues and Challenges for Future Cities of Culture from the Evaluation of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 – will see champions of the City of Culture year such as former Hull 2017 chief executive and director Martin Green return to Hull to share insights into the concept and practice of culture-led urban transformations and how Hull’s experience can help to shape success for other cities in the future. The conference will open with an evening reception at the Guildhall in Hull, with speeches by Martin Green; Leader of Hull City Council Stephen Brady; Director of Legacy, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Oonagh McGillian; Director, Culture Liverpool, Claire McGolgan; and Professor Glenn Burgess from the University of Hull. This will be followed by the 2-day event at the University of Hull.
Professor Franco Bianchini, Director of the University of Hull’s Culture, Place and Policy Institute, said: “From attracting inward investment and tourists to stimulating participation in a variety of social and cultural activities, the successes of Hull’s year as City of Culture have been well documented and reported. There is no doubt that since Hull 2017, the city’s image has changed for the better, both within Hull and externally.
“The evaluation shows that Hull has benefitted from the UK City of Culture title. The increase in tourism has been largely sustained, the cultural sector is better networked and more ambitious, and there is evidence that many of the positive effects of Hull 2017 are continuing to shape the city.”
The year included over 2,800 events, cultural activities, installations and exhibitions. £676m new public and private investment in Hull from 2013 to 2019 can be at least partly attributed to the UK City of Culture title. 800 jobs were created and visitors to Ferens Art Gallery, the Maritime Museum and the University of Hull’s Brynmor Jones Library all increased dramatically during 2017. Cumulatively, the programme was experienced 5.3 million times by audiences, with more than 9 in 10 residents taking part in at least one cultural activity in 2017. Tourism data from 2018 now shows a 50,000 increase in overnight trips and an increase in visitor spend (from £178.1 million in 2017 to £180 million in 2018). The 2018 citywide residents’ survey also revealed an increased in attendance at arts and cultural events in late 2018 and early 2019.