September Update from Pippa Jones
If you want some ideas about how to engage Local Authority partners in arts and cultural activity, take a look at this new online resource from ACE (Arts Council England) and LGA (Local Government Association) – LGA is the national voice of local government, working with councils across the UK to support, promote and improve their offer.
CG is featured as a case study - it charts our journey from 2011 (when Glos County Council decided to withdraw support for arts and culture) to 2017 when we are now sensing a resurgence in local authority interest in arts and culture...
For example, Gloucester City Council is supporting the new Gloucester Culture Trust, a strategic group made up of partners from across the private, public and VCSE sector – you can read their ten-year cultural strategy for the city here which has already helped to secure £1.49m Lottery funding from the Great Place Programme, as well as vital cash and in kind support from the City Council.
In the Forest of Dean, West Dean Parish Council is a founder member of Creative Canopy, a new umbrella cultural group with an imaginative vision to grow the cultural offer.
Stroud Town Council and Stroud District Council are also both working up cultural strategies to ensure assets and resources can be better co-ordinated and diversified.
Camilla Hale, a councilor for Stroud explains why:
“As resources are squeezed from local authorities, town and parish councils are taking more of a lead in cultural strategy. Stroud is a centre of cultural and arts activities for people who live in the town and around the valleys, for people who work and shop in the town. We have commissioned a cultural strategy to help the Town Council focus on the best ways to support a thriving scene using local money to lever other funds and to look at key actions that can bring jobs and a stronger economy to all the activities in the town.”
This is all good news for Gloucestershire - Local Authority support (financial and “moral”) helps to lever in other investment- as Darren Henley, CEO of ACE makes clear:
“Where councils choose to continue to invest in arts and culture, they can achieve great things. At the Arts Council, we’re clear in backing the ambition of those councils who invest in culture, or which find innovative new models for developing the future of arts and culture in their villages, towns and cities.”
CG will continue to make a holistic case for the arts and build relationships wherever we can with parish, town and district councils as well as at county level. CG’s role is to make sure the bigger county-wide picture is clear and to think strategically about how together we can make the most of the resources available so that we reach more people across the county with great art.
Pippa Jones, Director, Create Gloucestershire