This paper explores the relationship between cultural activities and facilities and their role in fostering social inclusion and wider cultural regeneration. A key element of sustainable cultural facilities is in the way they form part of a local sense of place and contribute to a cultural place identity (Low, 2000). In addition, recent research has focused on urban development and regeneration in the UK and the ways in which arts and cultural activities can foster social inclusion in deprived areas (Long & Welch, 2003) . In this way, there may be a symbiotic relationship between culture and place that has yet to be fully explored. The concepts of place and place identity are central to this approach, taking as it does a distinct physical, cultural, social locale as the unit of analysis (Moore, 2000; Proshansky et al, 1983). Specifically, this study takes a transactional approach to place which is concerned with individual experience and action placed within social, physical, cultural contexts (Ittelson et al, 1974; Bechtel & Churchman, 2002). Physical contexts are shaped and defined by the people who conceptualise and use them. Both Urry (1990) and Sheilds (1991) have stressed the importance of cultural places in constructing cultural activities and social relations. Forrest & Kearns (1999) have argued that the physical environment is important for community morale and social interaction as well as key landmark buildings. It can provide an opportunity for building social bridges between generations and groups in a local community. Drawing from two evaluation studies of cultural projects (AV Digital Arts Regional Festival and an ESF funded Cultural Skills Programme) in the economically deprived region of Teesside, this paper will identify the pathways by which cultural activity can enhance place identity and vice versa. The paper will draw from structured interviews with participants from socially excluded groups taking part in cultural activities as well as artists working with these groups. Interviews will examine participants’ experiences of cultural places, and ways in which cultural activities may or may not contribute to their relationship to the local environment. In this way, the role of culture in developing a sense of place and community will be explored.