‘The “Scouse Wedding” and other myths and legends: Reflections on the evolution of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led regeneration’

O'Brien, David and Cox, Tamsin. 2012. ‘The “Scouse Wedding” and other myths and legends: Reflections on the evolution of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led regeneration’. Cultural Trends, 21(2), pp. 93-101. ISSN 0954-8963 [Article]

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This paper considers the development of a “Liverpool model” for culture-led urban regeneration, based on an analysis of the competition to become the UK's first City of Culture (UKCC) for 2013. The paper outlines New Labour's developing approach to culture-led regeneration, placing the UKCC in the context of the use of culture for various local development policies, particularly city branding and urban regeneration (Evans & Shaw, 2004; McGuigan, 2005). Within this context, the paper considers how Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2008 has been narrated by New Labour and the manner in which this narrative has influenced the development of the UKCC programme (Department for Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS], 2009; Garcia, Melville & Cox, 2010). The paper demonstrates how this narrative overlooks the ultimate specificity of Liverpool's success (Liverpool Culture Company, 2009; Garcia et al., 2010), which suggests a unique combination of political circumstance, cultural leadership and public and private investment are at the root of the perceived success of Liverpool's ECoC 2008, rather than an exportable, replicable policy (O'Brien & Miles, 2010) described by the policy literature, and substantiated by the competition to select the UKCC 2013 (DCMS, 2009). The paper's conclusion problematises the prospect of another city repeating the Liverpool experience. The “Liverpool model” of culture-led regeneration is shown as one which limits prospective cultural policies to a narrow vision of the possible, a vision which is unlikely to be sustainable in the foreseeable future.

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Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)



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Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2015 09:09

Last Modified:

29 Jul 2016 10:43

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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