2020 brings step-change for culture across Birmingham and beyond

People enjoying Birmingham Weekender
Published: Thursday, 9th January 2020

The New Year heralds a step-change for culture across Birmingham and the region through new leadership at Cultural Central and leadership opportunities via the Birmingham Cultural Compact.

Additionally there will be investment opportunities from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

The end of 2019 brought the appointment of Erica Love as Director at Culture Central with a remit to drive forward the vision and ambition of Culture Central as advocate for culture across the city, supporting the development and sustainability of the sector.

As part of that remit Cultural Central is working with Birmingham City Council to establish a “Cultural Compact” for the city. The Birmingham Cultural Compact seeks to co-create and co-deliver a holistic vision for culture in Birmingham. It will link the cultural sector to broader aspirations and priorities for Birmingham and secure partnerships between the cultural sector and other sectors.

Currently there is an opportunity for a strategic leader to take up the role of Chair for the Birmingham Cultural Compact to drive the programme forward and to build and foster good relationships between the Compact and key stakeholders including Arts Council England and Central Government Departments. The deadline for applications is Friday 31 January 2020.

Erica Love, Director Culture Central said: “Culture Central is driving a step change in the sustainability and contribution of culture to the life of the city, we are already working with partners to continue to build a resilient arts and cultural ecology. Through the Cultural Compact and through supporting partners such as Birmingham City Council and GBSLEP we hope to extend and expand our networks beyond the sector demonstrating the impact culture can have city-wide.”

Councillor Jayne Francis, cabinet member for Education, Skills and Culture at Birmingham City Council, said; “As one of the UK’s core cities, Birmingham was a key contributor to the national Cultural Investment Inquiry and one of the first cities to sign up to establishing a Cultural Compact. We value really highly the contribution that culture makes to the economy and reputation of our city and look forward to working with a new Chair to take this agenda forward.”

As part of this coordinated step-change in November the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) published its Cultural Action Framework – adopting the recommendations made by Culture Central’s report ‘A Toolkit for Smarter Cultural Investments in our Towns, Cities and Regions’.

The Cultural Action Frameworks support innovative cultural investments and funding models; capacity building of cultural organisations and cultural consortia; and development and identification of funding for a pipeline of investible Cultural Action Zones. Find out more about the Cultural Action Framework.

GBSLEP is already supporting a range of cultural initiatives, including the extension to the Birmingham Dance Hub, enhancements to the iconic Symphony Hall and the National Memorial Museum’s new events building.

Anita Bhalla, Board Director for Creative & Culture, GBSLEP said: “With the publication of this Framework we can set out our approach to cultural investments and how it dovetails with broader objectives around placemaking, business growth, stimulating innovation and supporting the talent and skills pipeline.

"By working with partners - such as Culture Central, we can make significant step-change to ensure long-term partnerships with the cultural sector and other stakeholders and enable change for the long-term good of the economy and wider geography.”

To keep up to date on cultural activity in the region visit https://gbslep.co.uk/what-we-do/place/enhance-harness-potential-cultural-creative-assets

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