In April 2005, a number of local authorities in England embarked on a two-year pilot programme, jointly initiated by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The aim was to highlight innovation, learning and transferability in using culture to support partnership working in the shared priority areas.
Over the two-year period, the 12 pathfinders provided some informative lessons and innovative good practice that we can learn from for the benefit of our communities.
Leaps and bounds project
This project is aimed at improving the lives of young people, their families and communities. The programme enables young participants to identify barriers to their future success, and provides them with access to one-to-one support, which is aimed at helping them tackle their issues.
Heart and taking part
This project will engage children and young people creatively with their cultural heritage, in the context of the radical refurbishment of an historic building within a rapidly changing medieval city.
Discovery Centre programme
This is an ambitious £31 million investment scheme with developments in towns across Hampshire and programmes scheduled until 2014. The pilot project is the £2.5 million Gosport Discovery Centre, which opened on 2 March 2005. Its evaluation will be the focus of the cultural pathfinder and will inform the future development of the Discovery Centre programme in Hampshire.
It's not OK
This is a unique project using culture and the arts to tap into the creativity and energy of young people and tackle issues surrounding violence. The project is part of the Liverpool Culture Company's Creative Communities programme, and as such, it addresses domestic violence, racial and alcohol-related aggression and gun crime.
Museums for changing lives: working together to raise standards
A post has been created to unlock specialist consultant resources within the local education authority (LEA) to improve museums' and galleries' understanding of working with primary schools.
Cultural regeneration through costal partnership
The development of the Mouth of the Tyne will complement other activities, proposals and developments being undertaken along the length of the Tyne, to create a vibrant corridor that will be a focus for major international events.
Culture for keeps: encouraging participation
The programme will focus on breaking down the barriers that prevent looked-after children from accessing and benefiting from cultural experiences. The aim is to promote inclusion and encourage participation in existing and planned programmes.
Creative futures: Southey Owlerton area regeneration (SOAR)
SOAR has always recognised the potential of culture to help take forward the social, environmental and economic elements of its regeneration programme.
Creative industries: Somerset Creative Industries Development Agency (CIDA)
Somerset County Council is working with district authorities in the county and the Arts Council of England South West, to set up Somerset CIDA. This is a creative industries development agency, to begin operation in 2006. It has a vision for Somerset - a place where the arts and creative industries can thrive.
The Sunbury Cross public art project
The borough is currently working with partners, including Surrey Police and Surrey County Council, to build upon a thorough evaluation of the impact of previous successes. They intend to develop further arts-based projects with local youth, producing public art for Sunbury Cross.
Realising the cultural and heritage dividend
The pathfinder programme is the tool for achieving the Cultural and Heritage Dividend, a key part of Suffolk's Community Strategy with the aim of:
- enhancing access to cultural, heritage and sports activities for all and providing opportunities to develop talents to the full while enjoying the benefits of participation
- increasing the economic impact of cultural and heritage investment
- broadening the impact of cultural investment and contributing to the build of stronger, healthier and safer communities.