Research themes

This section details the main research themes of the Impacts 08 programme.


Our analysis and reflection on the impacts of Liverpool's Capital of Culture year has been carried out across the following main research themes.

Economy and tourism

This thematic area maps the impacts of the Liverpool ECoC on the economy of Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West. Sub-themes include impacts on inward investment; tourism, employment and job creation, and the strength and quality of the business sector. We also consider relevant social dimensions to economic impact, such as potential inequalities.

Cultural vibrancy

This area considers the vitality and sustainability of the cultural system and creative economy of Liverpool in comparison with the rest of the North West. Sub-themes include: profile of the sector (number and type of organisations, facilities and jobs); sustainability of the system (e.g. skill development in the cultural sector); the Culture Company’s contribution (e.g. direct investment/funding of the city’s cultural system) and contribution of other relevant institutions to the creative economy of other environments in the North West.

Access and participation

This includes demographic and geographic data on participants and non-participants in cultural activities and access to opportunities for cultural involvement. In addition, it focuses on particular sub-cultures and groups and explores experiences, cultural values and reasons for participation. This theme places particular emphasis on the impact of direct or indirect participation and engagement with the Liverpool ECoC on people’s well-being, and quality of life.

Image and perceptions

The sub-themes for this area include the positioning/ repositioning of Liverpool before and after becoming ECoC, the changing meanings associated with the city by its diverse local communities, visitors from around the North West, rest of the UK and overseas, and other UK residents that have not visited the city. It also assesses the strength of local identity and self-confidence.

Governance and delivery

This theme reflects on the impacts of the processes and philosophies underpinning the management and development of the Liverpool ECoC and how the strengths of these can be replicated in other culture-led regeneration programmes.

Other areas

Sub-themes include impacts on social capital (well-being and quality of life), and the public realm, the heritage environment, the quality and type of the physical infrastructure of culture (built environment, venues, parks, public art), physical access issues (transport, parking etc), and the environmental sustainability of the programme.