This article examines the culture of evaluation advocated in the 'movement' (ATCM, 1999) for Town Centre Management (TCM). It highlights the operational and instrumental approaches of TCM evaluation methodologies which tend to place relatively more consideration on economic outputs rather than social outcomes. It discusses TCM evaluation in the light of the issues raised in the current interdisciplinary and international literature on evaluation. The article highlights some of the difficulties of evaluation where a mix of ideologically diverse stakeholders are involved, and raises some pertinent issues for those concerned with partnership working. This is considered particularly apposite where there is a tendency to business-sponsored partnerships. Drawing on the wider evaluation literature, the conclusions suggest the need for greater sensitivity in the choice of evaluation paradigm and three ways in which to improve the transparency of different conceptions of success.