A Cultural Strategy for Cheltenham
Report of the Cabinet Member Culture, Wellbeing and Business
The Cabinet Member Culture, Wellbeing and Business presented the report, thanking the members of the Culture Board and Richard Gibson for their invaluable input throughout the process of drawing together the draft strategy. In producing the draft strategy, they had consulted widely with cultural partners and key stakeholders across the town, who had endorsed its assessment of Cheltenham as a place with powerful cultural and heritage assets that needed to be celebrated and nurtured. They now had a new cultural vision for the town, which was that Cheltenham was a vibrant place and cultural destination, where a fusion of arts, digital and heritage innovation fostered creative and inclusive communities where everyone had a chance to thrive.
She was excited about the potential interface between cyber and cultural provision, and wanted to ensure that culture and creativity played their part in securing economic growth for the town. The Culture Board recognised that Cheltenham needed to improve its performance in terms of talent attraction and retention, particularly with regard to young graduates and entrepreneurs. Their vision of fusing cyber, arts and heritage was both credible with local residents and appealing to the outside world. Realising the benefits of local talent skills development and wider creative industries would be a critical measure of the strategy’s success.
The draft strategy also sought to address the long-term issue of embedded inequalities across the town and its communities. The impact of child poverty needed to be recognised, as was the need to ensure that cultural provision and venues were as accessible as possible to the local community. Cheltenham needed to lead the way in facilitating the interaction of creative, cultural and digital innovation that built on and celebrated our culture and heritage.
To meet this vison, the Board agreed six key themes to provide focus: opportunities to fuse heritage, cultural and digital assets, improving the life chances for young people, building inclusive and creative communities, nurturing grassroots creative talent and ambitions, supporting the visitor economy and the wider place brand, and meeting the climate change challenge.
In addition to this, there were six big ideas to help achieve this vision. They would forge partnerships and collaborate across the heritage, cultural and digital sectors, focus on using culture and creativity to improve life chances, promote equity of opportunity, celebrate and nurture communities, work to drive the visitor economy, and use culture, creativity and innovation to contribute to Cheltenham Zero and address climate change. Cabinet was asked to endorse the draft strategy and support the Culture Board to carry out a program of wider consultation so that the strategy could be finalised and signed off by July 2022.
The Cabinet Member Climate Emergency added that it was good to see Cheltenham Zero playing an integral role in the strategy.
The Leader added that a lot of hard work had gone into formulating the strategy, with proper consultation having been undertaken with input from all interested parties.
The Leader moved to the vote, where it was unanimously:
1. The draft strategy be endorsed;
2. The Cheltenham Culture Board be supported to carry out a programme of consultation on the strategy in order that it be signed off by July 2022.
- 2022_04_05_culture strategy_report, item 12. PDF 331 KB
- 2022_04_05_culture strategy_appendix 2_draft strategy, item 12. PDF 623 KB