The potential opportunities from Londonderry securing the first ever UK City of Culture title have been flagged up by tourism lecturer Clare Carruthers who received her doctorate today at the University of Ulster’s graduations at Coleraine campus.
Her doctorate research, entitled “The development of a ‘comprehensive’ model of post-industrial urban cultural development in the UK”, was a comparative study of the process of urban cultural tourism in four UK cities: Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle-Gateshead and Birmingham.
Clare, who is originally from Glasgow, explains that the research has particular relevance for policy makers and planners and could have implications for Derry which has been named as UK City of Culture 2013.
“The thesis examined the process of cultural tourism development in these four cities, identifying the key common factors that have contributed towards their relative success. I looked at lessons learned and best practice from Liverpool and Glasgow – European City of Culture in 2008 and 1990 respectively. Having investigated some of the potential pitfalls and problems that might arise from such a title, I made a number of recommendations.
Clare is now planning to work on a collaborative research project with one of her postgraduate students, GraziellaVella from Valetta in Malta. Graziella received a Masters degree in Cultural Management at the same ceremony.
Graziella’s dissertation on ‘The Impact of the European Capital of Culture Title on the regeneration of the cultural product: Towards Valetta 2018’ was supervised by Clare but as the course was delivered entirely via WebCT/Campus One as a distance learning programme, the pair only met for the first time at their graduation.
Valetta is bidding for European Capital of Culture 2018 and Graziella’s research focused on the potential contribution and opportunities for Valetta and Malta in terms of culture led regeneration.
Clare said: “Both our research projects present interesting implications for other cities following this type of development/redevelopment in particular through the use of large scale repositioning events like that of the European City of Culture title. The research findings of both projects will have useful recommendations for Derry in terms of how they use the title and the benefits it can bring to the economy, society, community, the creative industries and tourism, in addition all the other spin-off benefits, such as for the retail sector.”