Research project

Local government data analytics for culture and creativity

Project overview

This project examines how local government authorities in England design, structure and implement data analytics relating to the cultural and creative industries (CCI).

The generation, analysis and communication of data is vital in understanding and positioning the significance of the CCI to the economic and social life of the UK. However, the Local Government Association Creative places report (2020) notes that whilst the CCI are as assets to local economies and communities, ‘councils, sector bodies, government – as well as businesses and investors – all struggle to find data which is specific to the creative part of a local or regional economy.’ Whilst this report identifies a struggle for councils to find data, an important but under researched aspect is to understand what CCI-related data is and could be collected by councils.

This project brings together these related but currently disparate initiatives and activities to examine local government data analytics relating to the CCI. This project will create new insights into data analytics – the types of cultural data collected by local authorities (e.g., surveys of cultural participation; business start-up figures), who collects it, and how it is used - relevant for the project’s local government participants and a wider range of beneficiaries including CCI businesses, support agencies, and local enterprise zones.


Lead researcher

Professor Daniel Ashton

Professor-Cultural & Creative Industries

Research interests

  • Work and the Creative Economy
  • Culture, Data and Place
  • Arts and Cultural Organisations
Connect with Daniel

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs