Cultural developments have become the favoured motor of economicregeneration in the disused industrial quarters of cities. This paper addresses the issue of the potential conflict between the re-branding of the area around the new Tate Gallery in Bankside, London to attract inward investment and the residents' perceptions of change .The study highlights the fragility of residents' sense of inclusion in the area and the problems of professional response within a dynamic market system. The study suggests that the re-creation of areas of the city as sites for consumption and leisure need not necessarily represent a global set of signs, but that there remains the possibility for the re-negotiation of a locally based sense of place.