Since 2006, I have been the director of the Impacts 08 research programme.
Impacts 08 – The Liverpool Model, is a joint research initiative of the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, which evaluates the impact of Liverpool’s hosting the European Capital of Culture title in 2008. The research, commissioned by Liverpool City Council, is the first of its kind to assess simultaneously the full range of major-event impact, that is, its economic, environmental, social as well as cultural aspects. The main aim of Impacts 08 is to develop a research model for evaluating the multiple impacts of culture-led regeneration programmes that can be applied to events across the UK, such as the London 2012 Olympics, and beyond.
The scope of the research programme is unprecedented and offers an innovative approach to impact measurement. This is achieved by combining the assessment of quantitative indicators, such as job creation, inward investment and tourism growth, with a qualitative investigation of the lived experiences of the people of Liverpool and the evolution of perceptions throughout the UK and internationally. The programme also takes a longitudinal approach exploring change in outcomes, experiences, perceptions and understanding over time – from the pre-bid period (2000), through the bidding and nomination (2002-3), preparations towards the event (2004-7), the main event-year (2008), and beyond. Throughout the programme, the research team is working closely with Liverpool 08’s stakeholders (including Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Culture Company and Culture Northwest) to report back areas of success and suggestions for improvement. Key findings are being reported on the Impacts 08 website (www.impacts08.net).
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