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New book explores the impacts of Covid-19 on UK cultural sector and implications for the future



A young child, wearing a blue padded gilet, singing or speaking into a microphone. They have a facemask hooked around their ears and pushed down to their chin. Two other people are watching and interacting with the child. They are wearing urban style clothing and have a facemask covering their mouths and noses.

A new publication, Pandemic Culture: The impacts of COVID-19 on the UK cultural sector and implications for the future, presents a timely summary of the local, regional and national policy responses to the Covid-19 crisis in the cultural sector.

In early 2020, the Centre quickly recognised the vital need to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cultural sector. We brought together a national consortium to carry out the largest and most significant mixed-methods research study of this type in the world. The project team provided policymakers and organisations with robust, real-time evidence to inform their planning and interventions. Learn more about the research.

Reflecting upon the research findings, this new book has been co-edited by Centre Director Ben Walmsley, alongside Abigail Gilmore (University of Manchester) and Dave O’Brien (University of Manchester).

Ben Walmsley says:

This publication comes at a crucial time for cultural sector, which is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, alongside the economic challenges of recent years. Reflecting on the core themes from the initial research project, it offers relevant insights for future policy and practice.

To ensure that this publication is readily available to everyone, the e-book is available free to download. A paperback edition, priced at £20, is also available.

Discover more and buy online via the Manchester University Press website.

Join us at the book launch

Join the Centre for Cultural Value and Creative Manchester at Contact, Manchester on Tuesday 17 September for an afternoon of in-depth discussion of the book’s themes and findings with editors Ben Walmsley, Abigail Gilmore and Dave O’Brien followed by a Q&A and networking opportunities.

The event is free to attend, but please book your place in advance. A recording of the event will be available for those unable to attend in person. This will be shared after the event.

Find out more about the book launch

The Centre for Cultural Value would like to thank and acknowledge all those who contributed to this publication:

Orian Brook, Danielle Child, Ben Dunn, Tal Feder, Ali Fitzgibbon, Rebecca Florisson, Karen Gray, Sue Hayton, Rachel Johnson, Jenny Kidd, Trevor MacFarlane, Oliver Mantell, Siobhann McAndrew, Eva Nieto-McAvoy, Ania Ostrowska, Gwilym Owen, Mark Taylor, Anne Torreggiani, Harry Weeks and John Wright.

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