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The impacts of small-scale cultural events on market town vitality

The impacts of small-scale cultural events on market town vitality
The impacts of small-scale cultural events on market town vitality
It is widely acknowledged that town centres in the United Kingdom currently face numerous challenges and are evolving at a time of prolonged economic uncertainty. Many are struggling for long-term survival, facing threats from changing patterns of consumer behaviour and increased reliance on internet retailing. In consequence, local policymakers are searching for solutions to these problems and various strategies aimed at reviving the fortunes of declining centres have been developed and implemented.

Cultural events such as fairs, festivals or markets are being used to increase town centre footfall in the hope that this will translate into improved economic activity for their, sometimes struggling, businesses. The staging of cultural or sporting events is a policy that has been used previously at city or regional level and much evidence exists of the impacts of these larger-scale or megaevents. Far less is known about impacts of smaller-scale cultural events hosted specifically in smaller settlements such as market towns. There is a pressing need, therefore, for such evidence so that informed decisions can be made.

This thesis employs case study methodology to examine the impacts of three small-scale cultural events staged in three different market towns in the Test Valley Borough Council area of the south of England. It reveals that although expenditure-related economic impacts are minimal, other contributory factors are evident and influence such activity. It concludes by proposing a framework for evaluating economic impacts more holistically.

This research makes a timely and important contribution to the ongoing British town centre and high street debate by providing evidence to illustrate the ways in which small-scale cultural events function within a market town setting. It also contributes to methodological knowledge by proposing that evaluating expenditure-related impacts in isolation is a narrowly-focused perspective, as it fails to account for other impacts and associated factors, such as the motivations behind visitor expenditure or the effect of both an event’s and a town’s reputation.
University of Southampton
Rust, Elaine Louise
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Rust, Elaine Louise
ef8280f1-618d-4fb2-bbf7-1174f1e8ed89
Clarke, Nicholas
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Wrigley, Neil
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Sunley, Peter
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Rust, Elaine Louise (2017) The impacts of small-scale cultural events on market town vitality. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 365pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

It is widely acknowledged that town centres in the United Kingdom currently face numerous challenges and are evolving at a time of prolonged economic uncertainty. Many are struggling for long-term survival, facing threats from changing patterns of consumer behaviour and increased reliance on internet retailing. In consequence, local policymakers are searching for solutions to these problems and various strategies aimed at reviving the fortunes of declining centres have been developed and implemented.

Cultural events such as fairs, festivals or markets are being used to increase town centre footfall in the hope that this will translate into improved economic activity for their, sometimes struggling, businesses. The staging of cultural or sporting events is a policy that has been used previously at city or regional level and much evidence exists of the impacts of these larger-scale or megaevents. Far less is known about impacts of smaller-scale cultural events hosted specifically in smaller settlements such as market towns. There is a pressing need, therefore, for such evidence so that informed decisions can be made.

This thesis employs case study methodology to examine the impacts of three small-scale cultural events staged in three different market towns in the Test Valley Borough Council area of the south of England. It reveals that although expenditure-related economic impacts are minimal, other contributory factors are evident and influence such activity. It concludes by proposing a framework for evaluating economic impacts more holistically.

This research makes a timely and important contribution to the ongoing British town centre and high street debate by providing evidence to illustrate the ways in which small-scale cultural events function within a market town setting. It also contributes to methodological knowledge by proposing that evaluating expenditure-related impacts in isolation is a narrowly-focused perspective, as it fails to account for other impacts and associated factors, such as the motivations behind visitor expenditure or the effect of both an event’s and a town’s reputation.

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The impacts of small-scale cultural events on market town vitality - Version of Record
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Published date: May 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416899
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416899
PURE UUID: 2af89410-e790-4010-9df2-91c440f08e95
ORCID for Elaine Louise Rust: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0593-6599
ORCID for Nicholas Clarke: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9148-9849
ORCID for Neil Wrigley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3967-5668
ORCID for Peter Sunley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4803-5299

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 06:02

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Contributors

Author: Elaine Louise Rust ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Nicholas Clarke ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Neil Wrigley ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Peter Sunley ORCID iD

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