REF2014 Impact Case Study: The Home of Great (Crime) Writing: Developing Portsmouth as a Literary and Cultural Centre

Impact: Cultural & Creative Impacts

Description of impact

Research undertaken at the University of Portsmouth relating to Victorian popular culture and representations of criminality played a significant part in developing Portsmouth City Council’s cultural and tourism strategies, informing the council’s literature strategy and the Home of Great Writing programme, and strengthening the reputation of Portsmouth as a thriving literary city. Public engagement activities have raised awareness locally, nationally and internationally, of the city’s significant associations with Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. These initiatives are central facets of the Local Authority’s strategy for economic development and have shaped Cultural Services’ ongoing policy commitments.

Who is affected

Portsmouth City Council; General public.


Dr Pittard’s research into Crime Writing has had a strong impact on Portsmouth City Council’s (PCC) Cultural Services and Tourism strategy, strengthening the city’s reputation as a literary city, and Pittard’s engagement with PCC’s key cultural services was crucial in developing the Cultural Blueprint outlined as part of their Cultural Services Business Plan. The research has developed stimuli to tourism and contributed to the quality of the tourist experience in Portsmouth and was central to the series of events. Further collaboration with Portsmouth City Council will develop public awareness of the holdings of the Arthur Conan Doyle collection through a new website, public access events, and a public lecture on Doyle’s legacy.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactCultural & Creative Impacts
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)


  • Victorian literature
  • cultural services


  • REF2014