March 2019 Round-up of news and reports

Leicester Wheel at night

This is our monthly round-up from our sectors of interest, for March 2019.

Culture and creative industries:

Greater Manchester published its first culture strategy.

While London produced a Cultural Infrastructure Plan and a supporting interactive map.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee reported on the state of the live music industry.


The DCMS is carrying out a tailored review of Historic England, starting with a public consultation.

A Dutch museum is to repatriate colonial-era works it thinks were stolen.

That theme (repatriation) is discussed in an interesting-looking new podcast by the cultural commentator Tiffany Jenkins, called Behind the Scenes at the Museum. The first interview is with Tristram Hunt of the V&A.


ALVA released its latest annual dataset of visitor attraction numbers, showing growth of almost 9%.

The Scottish Government published a high-level summary of its recent consultation on tourist taxes.

Place-making and urban regeneration: 

The LGA launched a report on culture-led regeneration.

The British Chambers of Commerce and Legal & General explored ‘building the towns and cities of tomorrow’, with case studies of several British cities.

The Create Streets project published a big study looking at what makes a successful street or public square.

Fourth Street:   

In Fourth Street news, we were delighted to be commissioned by Exeter City Council to examine the feasibility of a new multi-purpose performance venue in the city.

Finally, our director, Dan Anderson, was one of those asked by the Architects’ Journal for an assessment of the Tulip, the controversial high-rise visitor attraction planned for the City of London, which has just received planning permission.

February 2019 Round-up of news and reports

shutterstock_77295448 Baltic Gateshead icon architecture

This is our monthly round-up of news and reports from our sectors of interest. This edition looks back to February 2019.

Culture and creative industries:

The Core Cities and Arts Council England’s Cultural Cities Enquiry reported, looking at ways UK cities can use culture to drive inclusive growth. The report made several recommendations, the first of which, to establish Cultural City Compacts, is to get around £200,000 in funding from ACE and DCMS.

Creative & Cultural Skills published a labour force analysis of its sectors – its first since 2012.

A group of academics have created a set of ‘creative vitality’ measures for European cities.

The DCMS published new regional GVA statistics for its sectors.

Heritage and museums: 

Historic Environment Scotland published its annual Our Place in Time report, looking at Scottish heritage’s economic, social and environmental impact.

The Architectural Heritage Fund and partners launched a new £7m Heritage Impact Fund (a social investment fund).

Placemaking and urban regeneration:

The Parliamentary select committee for Housing, Communities and Local Government offered its take on the challenges facing British high streets.

While the Local Data Co analysed shop data for the last seven years to see how the high street has been changing.

A report from the UPP Foundation considered universities’ civic role in placemaking.

Finally, the Westminster Property Association published a paper by the LSE’s Tony Travers asking how the poor image of developers and planning might be improved.

January 2019 Round-up of news and reports

Live music venue

This is our monthly round-up of news and reports from our sectors of interest – this time for January 2019.

Culture and creative industries:

The DCMS’s Cultural Development Fund revealed its five winners, which will share £20m: Grimsby, the Thames Estuary, Plymouth, Worcester and Wakefield.

The winners were officially announced by the DCMS Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, during a set-piece speech in Coventry on the value of culture.

The Scottish Government released an analysis of the consultation on its proposed Culture Strategy for Scotland.

The Audience for the Future project announced £18m of funding to develop immersive technologies – recipients include the RSC and the Science Museum.

The DCMS released another set of economic estimates for its sectors, this time focusing on business demographics.

Heritage and museums:

The HLF (which is changing its name to the National Lottery Heritage Fund) issued its new Strategic Funding Framework this week. Our director, Dan Anderson, blogged about its significance here.

The Theatres Trust published its annual update of its Theatres at Risk register.

Placemaking and urban regeneration:

We attended a conference on the future of town and city centres, organised by the Key Cities group of mid-sized cities. The papers and presentations from the day can be found here.

The Guardian examined the (mostly negative) trends in shop openings and closures over the last five years. There was, though, some good news for museum and gallery shops.

Ten years ago, Woolworths closed its UK stores. The retail consultant Graham Soult has been tracking what happened to those shop units in the years since.

The Mayor of London’s Night Time Commission released its report into what London should do to support nightlife.

Fourth Street:

And finally in Fourth Street news, we were delighted to be selected to work on a new masterplan for the Horniman Museum, as part of a team led by Studio Egret West.