For local authorities, culture can be viewed as part of the glue that brings and keeps our communities together. A strong cultural sector and enriching cultural life can contribute to welcoming, distinctive and attractive places.
Culture is who we are. It is our heritage and future. It is how we live our lives and express our identities. It is art, music, film, fashion, design, even gaming. But it is much more: it is what defines us and how we are changing. For local authorities, culture can be viewed as part of the glue that brings and keeps our communities together. A strong cultural sector and enriching cultural life can contribute to welcoming, distinctive and attractive places. Used effectively, culture and the institutions and services of culture (museums, libraries, festivals and many other elements) can contribute toward the revitalisation of communities, the development of trust, improved health and wellbeing, and the possibility of a more positive future.
Having a cultural strategy in place as well as strategic partnerships with combined authorities or other independent cultural institutions increases the likelihood of securing larger amounts of funding, such as from Arts Council England. This is because those councils are seen as demonstrating a strategic commitment to culture and the role it can play for society. The inability to produce a cultural strategy for some councils not only results in a lack of a strategic cultural vision for the area, but also a lack of funding, which is already problematic against the challenging funding circumstances that most councils are currently facing.
This guide gives key lessons and guidance in writing a cultural strategy that can be tailored to suit the needs of the local authority and its place. It draws on good practice examples from across England. When designed and delivered effectively, a cultural strategy can trigger social and economic outcomes that will enhance your place.
This guide can be used by different types of councils; urban and rural, unitary, county and district.
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