PhD Studentship The effectiveness of culture-led urban regeneration

The effectiveness of culture-led urban regeneration

Interest is sought for a Northumbria University funded full-time PhD student at Newcastle Business School, to study the roles and efficacy of arts and culture-led regeneration in British towns and cities.

Since the mid-1980s there has been significant investment in Britain in high profile cultural projects, such as the European Capitals of Culture, as well as more modest, though significant, investments in the cultural infrastructures of urbanisations ranging from large cities to small towns. This is largely a response to the emergent importance of the service sector to the British economy and to the fact that so many post-industrial cities experienced a collapse of their industrial base. As such, ‘city decision-makers [have] prioritized economic development and turned to the arts and culture as one area with considerable potential’ (Bayliss, 2004: p. 818).  Moreover, recently the arts and culture have increasingly been seen as catalysts for community-led renewal in deprived urban areas through which local communities themselves are able to drive urban regeneration alongside that driven by public policy.

While this sort of activity has been common-place throughout Britain in recent decades, there is considerable disagreement within the academy as well as within urban governance itself about the efficacy, both in social and economic terms, of large scale culture-led urban regeneration initiatives and the more localised initiatives aimed at place-making through community-led cultural projects.  Evidence needs to be gathered to inform the debate and point to fruitful ways forward.

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The purpose of this research, therefore, is twofold, 1) to examine existing research that assesses and/or argues the efficacy or otherwise of arts and culture-led regeneration in British towns and cities, and 2) to undertake a comparative empirical study of two or more urban areas that have included both community-led and public policy-led strategies in their use of the arts and culture as drivers of urban regeneration.  The aim is to provide evidence, as well as critical and conceptual advancement, on the effectiveness of different arts and culture-led regeneration strategies in different places.  Through this work it is expected that more general conclusions will be worked up that will have the potential to guide both practice and debate on the efficacy of the arts and culture as engines of urban renewal.

The Supervisory Team has a strong background in this field of research. They edit several journals, are engaged in international research networks and projects, and have strong links with business and industry.

For further details on working on this project, please contact Dr Lee Pugalis ( or Professor Tom Mordue (

You should apply using the Application form via the ‘Apply’ button below. Applications should be submitted to Sarah Jukes, Programme Support Co-ordinator, via email to:

Deadline for applications: 13 December 2013
Interviews: January 2014
Project start: February 2014

Funding Notes:
This is one of eight projects advertised in competition for two funded studentship places. Applicants should only apply to one of the eight projects advertised.

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Each studentship place is funded by Northumbria University, and includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (in 2013/14 this is £13,726 pa) and Home/EU fees.

Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide; however non-EU nationals will have to pay the difference between the home tuition fees and the overseas tuition fees.

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