Does the City of Culture (COC) create long-term benefits? Comparing the performance of Derry-Londonderry to other short-listed cities.

ERC Insight Paper

Associated Themes
  • Productivity and performance

Evidence on the long-term effects of Cities of Culture (COC) is limited. Here, we compare the pre- and post-COC performance of the UK COC for 2013 Derry-Londonderry (D-L) with that of the other shortlisted cities. There is some evidence that despite weaker growth performance prior to the COC the post-COC GDP growth of D-L has been significantly stronger. This post-COC growth effect is particularly evident in Distribution, transport, accommodation and food and construction. The COC also led to a step-change in visitor numbers to D-L, a positive effect which persisted through to 2016 at least. Job creation through inward investment was also stronger in D-L in the post-COC period. We cannot establish any direct causal connection between COC 2013 and these trends but suggest that the evidence does at least suggest a prima facie case for the positive longer-term benefits of COCs