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The economics of culture in the North

We are delighted to welcome Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool, responsible for Major Events, Liverpool Film Office, Cruise Liverpool, Tourism, City Halls and Cultural Policy, to our 'Great North' forum this month at RIBA North.

Since 2008 when Liverpool was named the European Capital of Culture, the visitor economy has grown significantly with the creation of new museums and exhibitions and in the area of arts festivals. Next month, Liverpool Hope University is hosting Angel First Festival with contributions from Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and The European Opera Centre.

The Impacts 18 study carried out by Dr Beatriz Garcia and her team as a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moore's University, states that in the last ten years, the way 'the city sees itself, and is seen by the rest of the country has been transformed...with culture being seen unmistakably at the heart of the city's rebirth. It is now the fifth most listed UK city for international tourists'

Claire developed the successful participation programme (Creative Communities) that was key to Liverpool’s transformative European Capital of Culture bid. In 2006 she was appointed Executive Producer of European Capital of Culture with responsibility for major events, public participation and community engagement. She received the MBE for services to the arts in 2009.

Claire has led the legacy program in Liverpool over the last 10 years supporting and funding 35 cultural organisations, bringing new commercial events to the city and designing and producing a creative program for Liverpool that shapes it as a destination and a place to live. She sits on the City Regions Cultural Partnership and the Visitor Economy Board.

Claire is a national and international advisor on best practice in Culture acting for Arts Council England and Ireland, the British Council, Local Government Association and represented the UK in Thailand, Brazil and China.

Claire is also a Director on the Board of Derry/Londonderry the inaugural City of Culture program, and she is the European Board Director for Galway European Capital of Culture 2020. She was chosen by Karen Bradley, Secretary of State as the UK expert for the 2022 European Capital of Culture competition.

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