Ambitious blueprint for next 10 years of cultural life in Nottingham set to be agreed next week

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

A new ten-year vision for the role of culture and creativity in the life of Nottingham is outlined in a document produced by the Strategic Cultural Partnership – an alliance of the city council and 14 major arts institutions.

The Cultural Statement and Framework, which is expected to be adopted next week by Nottingham City Council’s executive board, envisages every person in Nottingham engaging in cultural activity.

It also pledges to make culturally-inspired lifelong learning available to all citizens, with schools being helped to develop “a world-class cultural learning offer".

The ten-year plan will beef up Nottingham’s application to become Britain’s European Capital of Culture in 2023. The city’s bid for the title must be submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by October 27.

“This is an important development for the city and represents a significant milestone for the role and place that culture and the creative industries are now contributing to the life, vibrancy and liveability of Nottingham,” said Paul Russ, chairman of the Strategic Cultural Partnership.

“The Cultural Statement and Framework is a call to action to artists, citizens and cultural organisations to all find a positive new collaborative approach to contribute towards the city’s future.”

Paul Russ of Dance4

Mr Russ is chief executive of Dance 4, one of the partnership members. The others are Lakeside Arts, New Art Exchange, the National Justice Museum, Nottingham Playhouse, Marketing NG, Broadway Cinema, the Royal Centre, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottinghamshire’s cultural agency Inspire, Nottingham Trent University, Unesco City of Literature, Primary artists’ studios and City Arts.

The Cultural Statement and Framework recognises the role that culture already plays in Nottingham and looks at the way in which access to opportunities in the creative arts can be used to better fuel the future economic, educational and social prosperity of the city.

The framework consists of five themes, to be achieved over the next ten years. The first two are quality and education, embracing the ambitions to expose everyone to cultural life and to offer culturally-inspired lifelong learning.

The third theme is place, allowing every person in Nottingham to enjoy public spaces enriched by culture, leading to a greater sense of civic pride.

The fourth and fifth themes are economy and health and wellbeing, the argument being that a thriving cultural life is good for the local economy and good for the wellbeing of Nottingham citizens.

Councillor David Trimble, the council’s portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “We welcome the work undertaken by the Strategic Cultural Partnership to bring together this new Cultural Statement and Framework.

“The framework provides a great platform for all partners to work towards, to enable everyone living and working in Nottingham to have an enriched life through deepening their access to the arts and culture in the city.

“Nottingham is blessed to have such a creative and vibrant cultural scene, be it in its music, visual arts, literature and performance arts.”

Councillor David Trimble

Nottingham will be vying with Bristol, Dundee, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Truro and a combined Belfast / Derry / Strabane bid to become a shortlisted candidate for European Capital of Culture in 2023. The winner will share the honour with a city in Hungary.

However, the gift is in the hands of the European Union and it remains to be seen if a British city will be given the accolade, given that the UK is not expected still to be a member state in 2023.

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The British Government’s position is that the show must go on. According to a statement: “The outcome of exit negotiations with the EU will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU-administered programmes once the UK has exited.

“Until the UK has left the EU it remains a full member with all the rights and obligations of EU membership, which includes fully engaging in relevant cultural programmes.”