Author: Jonathan Vickery
Institution: Centre for Cultural Policy Studies
Full reference: Vickery, J. (2007) The Emergence of Culture-led Regeneration: A policy concept and its discontents. University of Warwick: Centre for Cultural Policy Studies
This paper is an analysis of the concept of ‘culture-led regeneration’ and the national policies and policy frameworks within which the term has gained meaning and credibility. The analysis covers the period 1997—2007, concentrating particularly on the shift in policy priorities under New Labour in the UK between 1999 and 2004. It discusses the semantics of the term ‘culture-led regeneration’, the diverse contexts in which it has been used and the historical backdrop to the term’s emergence. The paper provides a thorough consideration of key urban, social, cultural and arts policies and identifies the political motives and Government interests which have determined and informed the concept ‘culture-led regeneration’. The author argues that under New Labour the economic instrumentalism of the previous Conservative regime was supplanted by a social instrumentalism, where culture was only defined in a policy context in terms of a supplement to social or urban policy aspirations. Culture and creativity were means to generate an already existing process of social reconstruction, but this came at the cost of an impoverished concept of culture.
The study discusses the role of DCMS and ACE in promoting culture within urban regeneration. In this context Creative Partnerships is briefly mentioned as one of the social or community based initiatives sponsored by Arts Council England since 2000.