A strategy to shape the future of the arts across parts of Cumberland has been revealed today (18 April).
Developed with the support of more than 100 partners, the Cultural Strategy for West Cumbria was funded by Arts Council England, Sellafield Ltd and the council. It covers the former areas of Copeland and Allerdale, and will sit alongside and complement the current Carlisle Cultural Framework.
The document aims to raise the area’s cultural profile, celebrating it as a great place to visit. It will support funding applications, guide and encourage investment in the cultural and heritage sector, and flag up opportunities for development.
The launch event, at Energus near Workington, was funded by the UK Social Prosperity Fund. It included specially-commissioned artworks, including a poem by Emma McGordon, and a community digital artwork by Jamie Holman.
Cumberland Council’s Director of Place, Sustainable Growth and Transport, Darren Crossley, said: “A vibrant cultural sector is one of the key pillars of strong, proactive communities.
“The new strategy sets out plans to boost the visitor economy and improve health and wellbeing across our area. It outlines how, together, partners will deliver a strong cultural offer here.
“Combined with the Carlisle Cultural Strategy, the Cultural Strategy for West Cumbria will provide a strong direction for cultural activity, investment and funding.”
Jen Cleary, Director North for Arts Council England, said: “Arts Council England is delighted to be involved in the development of a cultural strategy for West Cumbria.
“We want everyone, wherever they live and whatever their background, to have the chance to enjoy a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences and a cultural strategy provides a route to increasing such opportunities.
“We applaud the partners who have come together with a commitment to progress this and we look forward to our continued involvement.”