King’s Cross: how cultural festivals can contribute to regeneration

King’s Cross: how cultural festivals can contribute to regeneration

By Sian James


How Create King’s Cross, London led a cultural programme of commissions, fringe activities, partner projects, community programme, training, and networking, supported by coordinated and research-led destination marketing to raise the profile of the area over time (milestone events rather than a one-off festival). Targeting local and inbound visitors, and especially early adopters, evaluation reveals the successes, challenges and lessons learned of a multi-partner strategy in a challenging location, including how it developed new audiences, started to create a new cultural destination and brand through good partnerships.

Key Learning:

  1. Success = understanding and working with the identity/geography/context of the area.
  2. Event series/ biennale/ milestone celebrations work better to create a sustained growth in cultural tourism, rather than a single festival. So recommend researching feasibility for this at the start.
  3. Measuring the economic impact on area is a big challenge but funders are more likely to support interventions like this if you can demonstrate economic return.
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013