The Centre undertook an economic impact assessment of the 2009 Northern Rail Blackpool 9s tournament. Project Director Rhodri Thomas, working with colleague Nicola McCullough, were delighted with positive feedback from those who commissioned the work (the Rugby Football League). As Rhodri noted: 'it's gratifying when our research reports are considered useful. We are looking forward to doing a follow-on study for the RFL'.

RFL Carnegie

The following Masterclasses were undertaken by Paul Gudgin, formerly Director of the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, while he was a Visiting Professor of the Centre:

South Korea (May 2007)


Seoul Performing Arts Festival                                            
Musical Theatre Festival, Taegu                                          
Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture

Moscow (June 2008)

Golden Mask Festival                                                           
Russian Regional Festival Organisers                                
Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography              
New Drama Festival and Praktika Theatre

Australia (July and October 2007)

Tourism Queensland,                                                            
University of Technology, Sydney                                       
Australian Centre for Events Management, Melbourne


Taiwan (November 2007)


Wei-Wu-In Culture & Art Center, Taipei                              
Taipei Artist Village, Taipei Council for Culture Affairs, Kaoshung


Ireland (November 2008)

Association of Irish Festivals and Events, Ballinsloe


Finland (February 2008)

Svenska Kulturfonden, Theatre Academy Helsinki

The Netherlands (2008 and 2009)

Amsterdam Fringe                                                                  
Festival and Events Management Masterclass, Amsterdam Training Event          
Festival and Events Management Masterclass, Rotterdam Training Event

Canada (2008)

Festival and Events Management Masterclass, Vancouver Training Event

Denmark (2008)


Roskilde Universitet


UAE (2008)


Abu Dhabi Tourism Development Co (TDIC)

Forthcoming Engagements


Philadelphia June 2009
Manitoba June 2009
Calgary June 2009
Toronto June 2009
Seoul July 2009
Hong Kong July 2009
Brisbane July 2009
Sydney July 2009







Dr Emma Wood and Professor Rhodri Thomas recently worked with The Shoreditch Trust on a social impact evaluation of the Shoreditch Festival.  The Trust is a regeneration partnership that has used the festival to try to achieve the following:

  • Providing accessible opportunities for fun and enjoyment for all Shoreditch residents;
  • Tackling physical, economic and psychological barriers to arts attendance and in so doing develop audiences;
  • Stimulating social inclusion through arts and cultural led regeneration, thereby generating secondary social benefits such as civic pride, community cohesion, enhanced community participation and capacity development through the provision of volunteering opportunities;
  • Providing an opportunity for promoting Shoreditch Trust and its work to both Shoreditch residents, the wider Greater London community and beyond;
  • Brokering stronger relations between institutions, service providers and the local community;
  • Recent festival programmes have also attempted to use the festival as a vehicle for spreading awareness of environmental issues as well as promoting the festivals approach to environmental sustainability.

Music Concert

The following list of projects provides a flavour of the breadth of the projects undertaken by our team:

  • A social impact evaluation of the Shoreditch Festival 2008 for The Shoreditch Trust (more). 
  • A review of the literature on training and skills in the festivals and events sector for People 1st, the Sector Skills Council (available from here)
  • Evaluation of melas and other festivals for local authorities, including Preston City Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Saltaire Festival (Bradford).
  • Youth circus mapping and recommendations for Arts Council England.  
  • Open City: Encouraging social inclusion agendas for city festivals for Manchester City Council
  • The impact of rural events for communities and the Welsh economy for the Leader+ and partners in Wales (more)
  • Decibel focussed development agency feasibility study report. Arts Council England, Yorkshire.
  • Yorkshire Market Towns Regeneration Project: Settle Music Festival for Yorkshire Forward, the region’s economic development agency.
  • 2012 Olympic Games Roadshow - Evaluation (with Logistik Ltd) for Yorkshire and Humber Learning and Skills Council
  • Event Market Development Project - The project was part-financed by the European Union and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (more)
  • PASS – an innovative group assessment project for the Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
  • The use of guest speakers for events management education: a review of practice for the national Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund (TQEF)
  • Fostering entrepreneurship and SME development in Bulgaria’s tourism industry (with others) for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (more)
  • Developing a handbook for tourism learning areas (with EcoTrans) for the European Commission (more)
  • An analysis of professionalism and professionalization for the Institute of Travel and Tourism (more)
  • Co-financing of training and skills development (with HOST Policy Research) for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) (more)
  • Attitudes to climate change: A survey. Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) (more)
  • Flexible working practices.  Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) (more

Professor Rhodri Thomas

Professor Rhodri Thomas was part-time ESRC funded Business Placement Fellowship with the ITT for most of 2009. Details can be found by following the links below:





Professor Rhodri Thomas has been successful in his application to become an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Business Placement Fellow with the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT). The funding will involve Rhodri bringing together high calibre researchers in the field of environmental management with business leaders from travel and tourism. This theme will be used to examine how academic research might inform business practice more generally. The project will also involve Rhodri in undertaking research (Grant Reference RES-186-27-0015) on factors that influence the engagement of senior executives with academics. He will receive advice on aspects of environmental management from Dr Paul Upham, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester.

Rhodri noted, "I am delighted that the ESRC have backed the project because it shows that they appreciate the importance of travel and tourism to the British economy and recognise the potential contribution that academic research might make to enhancing professional practice in this sector. This, combined with the leadership and reach of the ITT, offers a great opportunity to make a difference to practice in this sector."

Steven Freudmann, Chairman of the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) commented, "We are delighted that our investment and partnership with Professor Rhodri Thomas and Leeds Met has been recognised and seen as worth supporting by others. The ESRC grant will enable Rhodri to undertake research that will help build stronger links between travel businesses and universities. If university research can help us understand markets better and issues that affect business performance that must be a good thing, especially during these challenging times."