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CUR PRESS RELEASE (November 2009)


An innovative pan-European research project led by University of the Arts London and funded with support from the European Commission was launched this month in London with the cooperation of the Association of Town Centre Management and its sister organisations in Italy (AGECC) and Spain (AGECU), with members across 700 towns and cities in Europe.

This research project has been designed to share best practice in the monitoring and evaluation of culture-led events in town centres (e.g. Light Nights) which often form part of wider urban revitalisation programmes. Town centre managers, artists, festival and event managers, local authorities, and community leaders across England, Spain and Italy will be able to form part of this pan-European research project into the use of key performance indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of festivals and cultural events in addressing the revitalisation needs of town centres. By uncovering innovative practices at local level and testing indicators and methodologies for data collection that may influence practice and funding decisions across the European Union, it is hoped the initiative can improve the competitiveness of urban spaces and their ability to engage with visitors, local communities, artists, funding bodies and the business sector to improve the prosperity and vitality of town centres across the UK with the help of the Culture-led Urban Regeneration (CUR) partnership.

The CUR project team, responsible for operating this research programme, plans to undertake various research activities in cooperation with two towns or cities in the UK in order to increase the understanding of the issues affecting the effectiveness of local culture-led activities. The research will be used to produce and test a set of key performance indicators, which will enable event/festival management partnerships as well as major funding bodies to assess the effectiveness of culture-led programmes in addressing local revitalisation issues such branding, identity, local communities, economic and environmental performance. “As we approach the dawn of the creative accounting era, it is becoming increasingly evident that creativity and culture can become major agents of change for the revitalisation of our town and city centres, many of which are still suffering from the effects of the global recession. Festivals and events bring communities together in a way that few other initiatives have ever achieved. The idea of comparing best practice in monitoring and evaluation as well as the viability of using key performance indicators to measure the impact of these events in cities like Valencia, Turin, Reading or London is a challenge that visionary thinkers at local level should embrace and be part of” said Andres Coca-Stefaniak, CUR Partnership Manager. Toyubur Rahman, Regional Development Manager for the Association of Town Centre Management, endorsed the programme and extended an invitation for local authorities, communities, artists and other stakeholders to join the programme – “we are looking forward to working with towns and cities to help them address their problems and give them a platform at European level”.

For further information on this project, please visit

This communication reflects the views only of the CUR partnership, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.

For more information contact:

Andres Coca-Stefaniak – Partnership Manager, Culture-led Urban Revitalisation project

London College of Communication

University of the Arts London

Mobile +44 (0)7841 476 723


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AGECU - Asociación Española para la Gerencia de Centros Urbanos