Agenda item


The Committee heard from the Assistant Director of Planning and Regeneration regarding the development of a Cultural Strategy for West Lindsey. She explained that it was considered by the Prosperous Communities Committee on 14 September where five themes of work to develop West Lindsey’s cultural offer, positioning and activity were agreed. The work streams were:


·         Events

·         Strategic Relationships

·         National Portfolio Organisation Status

·         Investment in the Trinity Arts Centre

·         Role of Culture in Placemaking


Members were now being asked to give approval to spend against the allocation of £250,000 agreed in previous committees. There were three key areas of spend identified. Firstly in the creation of a band 8 fixed term resource for 24 months. The budget also made provision for IT equipment. This new role would lead the marketing and co-ordination of events across the district, developing a central ‘tool’ for residents and businesses to advertise and seek information about events and cultural activities.


The second area of spend suggested was around the council seeking to secure National Portfolio Organisation Status. In order to be able to tap into long term sustainable funding for culture, an organisation must be an NOP. External support was needed to understand the challenges faced to achieve this and what it might mean for the district.


It was also explained that National Lottery Heritage had a funding programme for the redevelopment and regeneration of Heritage assets, with funds of up to £5million being awarded to successful bidders. It was proposed that up to £62,000 was used to develop a bid for capital investment, activities and events, with support being sought from the Committee for the bid for funds to be submitted once the work had been undertaken. It was stated that this was a rolling programme with the funder taking applications and reviewing them once per quarter.


There was widespread support amongst Members for the development of the Cultural Strategy, although there were concerns expressed that sports development was not included, despite both sports and the arts having gone into decline. This was acknowledged to be a nationwide concern.


In response to a question as to how ‘culture’ was to be defined, Members were directed to section 2.4 of the associated report where the following paragraph from the Local Government Association was quoted:


“‘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’.”


Following further discussion regarding leisure provision across the district, with Members being assured there was work underway outside of the Cultural Strategy which would seek to address those concerns, the Chairman called the vote, the paper having been moved and seconded in earlier discussions. It was


            RESOLVED that


a)    approval be given to spend, from the Cultural Strategy Reserve, £85,000 for new fixed term officer capacity and £25,000 to develop our approach to securing National Portfolio Organisation status; and


b)    approval be given to spend £62,000 of the Cultural Strategy Reserve to be used to develop a bid for capital investment, activities and events at the Trinity Arts Centre; and


c)    the submission of a bid for up to £5m of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund be supported.

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