Monitoring and Evaluation

As the UK City of Culture 2021, a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation programme has been established and will run until 2024. The evaluation of Coventry 2021 is being led by the University of Warwick and Coventry University with a number of external consultancies contributing to it.

Released in 2019 and revised in early 2020, the Performance Measurement & Evaluation Strategy details the Trust’s Theory/Story of Change which highlights the change that is sought as a result of Coventry being the UK City of Culture. Developed in partnership between the University of Warwick, Coventry University, Coventry City Council and the Coventry City of Culture Trust, the strategy outlines how the City of Culture 2021 programme and activities intend to impact on the city and its peoples along cultural, social, economic, health and wellbeing, and other impacts. The planned outcomes of the Theory/Story of Change drive the work and planning of the City of Culture Trust in preparation and delivery for 2021.

University of Warwick

University of Coventry


Working with our Monitoring and Evaluation partners, we have created a handy document designed to help organisations who are applying to be an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.

What Data Tells Us About Coventry is full of useful information that covers demographics, cultural engagement, education, employment, green futures, economics, health, tourism and young people.

Download What Data Tells Us About Coventry

Performance Measurement & Evaluation Strategy

The UK City of Culture 2021 will engage the youthfulness and diversity of the city in its cultural offer. To ensure the programme meets local and regional needs and is evidence-based, the Coventry City of Culture Trust and partners have developed a proactive performance measurement & evaluation strategy based on a theory of change model.

The strategy is available to download:

Performance Measurement & Evaluation Strategy

External Validation

Data captured by the Trust as part of its monitoring activity, and any derived findings concerning the Theory/Story of Change outcomes and impacts will be reviewed by the Universities. There is also an external Technical Reference Group, of experts in social, cultural and economic evaluation that meets quarterly to receive reports and comment on the rigour and progress of the PM&E Strategy. This group will sign off on findings and other evidence of impact. The terms of reference for the Technical Reference Group are below:

The Technical Reference Group will act as an independent and impartial group advising the Core Monitoring and Evaluation Team around current evaluation practices, methodologies, ethics and data aggregation. The group will be key in aiding and assisting in the delivery and execution of monitoring and evaluation activities for Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021 and the delivery of key evaluation reports in early 2022. Monitoring and evaluation activities are being delivered through a partnership between the Coventry City of Culture Trust, University of Warwick, Coventry University, Coventry City Council and other city partners as required. The remit of the Technical Reference Group will be:

  • Support the monitoring and evaluation activities through guidance on appropriate methodological approaches, validation of surveys and ethics around the collection of data;
  • Assist in identifying gaps in the reporting data and how new data sources can be aggregated alongside current data sets;
  • Provide input to ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities where appropriate, drawing on the expert knowledge and experience of the members of the group;
  • Guidance on ensuring relevant evaluation is being undertaken to meet funding body requirements;
  • Advise on the dissemination of data and key results from the monitoring and evaluation activities to key stakeholders, funders and other interested parties.

Economic Impact Assessment

To understand the economic benefit to Coventry and the region, the Trust commissioned AMION Consulting in April 2020 to undertake an externally validated long-term economic impact assessment into the economic benefit which the UK City of Culture title has brought to Coventry.

Running until 2024, the study will examine key economic indicators. A baseline study has been completed and the report is available below. Further reporting will take place in early 2023 and late 2024.

AMION Baseline Study Link

Social Return On Investment

In April 2020, the Trust commissioned MB Associates to undertake a Social Return On Investment study to help understand and quantify the social, environmental and economic value that the UK City of Culture title has brought. The study will examine five key projects and will be reported on in late 2022.

Progress Reports

For the period up to June 2021, six Progress Reports have been published by the Monitoring and Evaluation team and these are available to download here.

Progress Report 1 – December 2017 to March 2020

Progress Report 2 – April 2020 to June 2020

Progress Report 3 – July 2020 to September 2020

Progress Report 4 – October 2020 to December 2020

Progress Report 5 – January 2021 to March 2021

Progress Report 6 – April 2021 to June 2021

Interim Report

The monitoring and evaluation of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 is a step-change in expectations around evaluation, impact reporting and learning. This interim report has been prepared and written by the Core Monitoring and Evaluation Team led by the University of Warwick and Coventry University.


A Supplementary Report covering the final six months of the City of Culture year will be released in late July/early August 2022.