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North East takes Case for Culture to Westminster

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 15.01.30Senior figures from the North East Culture Partnership will meet with influential arts organisations and politicians, including the Culture Minister Rt Hon Ed Vaizey, in the House of Commons on Wednesday 4 November for the national launch of the North East of England’s Case for Culture.

Unique across the country, the Case for Culture is a strong collective statement of the region’s vision for culture over the next fifteen years and highlights an ambition to firmly place arts and heritage right at the heart of economic and social regeneration.   It seeks to build on the North East’s wealth of cultural strengths, to position the region to benefit from future investment opportunities, to enhance its distinctive identity and potential for creating vibrant communities and prosperous places.   

The Westminster briefing, timed in advance of the forthcoming Spending Review and to inform the next DCMS White Paper on the Arts, will highlight the commitment to partnership working to drive and deliver the Case for Culture across the arts and heritage sectors, local authorities, universities and private sector partners.    

The North East Culture Partnership, which has been responsible for developing the Case for Culture, is the first of its kind across the English regions.  It seeks to ensure that the North East has more influence in identifying priorities relating to culture, including legislation, policy and practice as well as funding.  Over 1,000 individuals and organisations have been directly involved in identifying and shaping those aspirations that will help make a real and tangible difference to people, places and economies in this area of the country.

MPs and leading figures in the arts and culture sector will hear from Richard Evans, Director of Beamish Museum, about the vision driving the Case for Culture and its aspirations, which include the following five areas of focus:

Participation and reach  – spreading the benefits of arts and heritage further to make sure everyone benefits, with an ambition to lead nationally in participation and culture, reaching an extra 500,000 people every year.

Children and young people – continuing to innovate and broaden access to culture for children and young people, for all the benefits this brings to future generations.

Talent and progression – attract and retain the very best cultural and creative talent and provide routes for career progression to grow a more skilled and diverse workforce.

Economic value – harnessing the North East’s potential to support economic growth and job creation and attract more visitors to the region.  The North East Culture Partnership commits to working with the creative industries in the North East to significantly increase the 70,000 jobs in the sector.

Create a vibrant and distinctive region with an excellent quality of life – the right conditions for innovation and inward investment. 

Commenting on the national launch of the Case for Culture, Co-Chair of the North East Culture Partnership and Mayor of Middlesbrough, David Budd said, “In taking the Case for Culture to Westminster we seek to involve and enthuse national partners in the North East’s vision for creating places that build on our strong sense of identity, our reputation for innovation, passion for creativity, commitment to learning, participation and access for all and our desire to be an attractive and inspiring place to live and work.   We bring a confident and collective voice, a clear message for MPs and senior figures in the arts world and a compelling narrative about why the North East of England is a place to invest in over the next fifteen years”.

John Mowbray, Co-Chair of the Partnership, said “The Case for Culture builds on a long tradition in the North East of positively promoting and championing culture and creativity.  It will be an important tool in influencing key decision-makers across a range of sectors.  We believe it will play a valuable role in establishing the credibility, expertise and significance of the cultural sector to the economic life, health and well-being of the whole of the North East”.

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