How the North East Culture Partnership is combatting cuts with collaboration
Over 200 representatives from the North East’s creative sector came together at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle earlier this month to discuss future growth plans for the industry.
Organised by the North East Culture Partnership (NECP), a body which champions the region’s arts and heritage sectors via its Case for Culture strategy, the event explored ways in which the region can create more culture-based jobs and attract more inward investment.
Moreover, ways in which the region can ensure young people have access to the arts and retaining graduate talent were high on the agenda.
With the North East’s cultural, arts and heritage industries bringing almost 4 million visitors and contributing over £710m in revenue to the region each year, the NECP is determined to bring a wide range of cultural leaders and institutions together to collaborate and innovate to protect the often-maligned sector amid austerity.
Dave Budd, Elected Mayor of Middlesbrough and the Co-Chair of NECP, said: “The sector across the North East is wholly committed to the Case for Culture and many organisations have made great strides over the past two years, in terms of pushing the plan forward.
“We’ve seen development of international working, creation of job opportunities and a pledge to provide arts and culture opportunities for our children and young people.
“What came out of the forum on earlier this month was a positive ambition to grow the arts and heritage offer across the North East.”
To help determine what needs to happen next and where the region’s priorities should lie, the NECP brought together the sector in the first of what is hoped to be an annual event.
Matthew Jarratt, NECP Manager, added: “In order to grow the sector, we have developed five working groups tackling each element of the growth strategy with the idea that professionals from around the region will work collaboratively to develop and implement growth strategies within their own organisations.”
The Case for Culture team and stakeholders will now channel energies into driving continued support for their collective approach.
Together they’ve committed to working with other sectors such as education and health; working closely with the two Local Enterprise Partnerships to advocate the role of culture in the wider development of the region; more promotion and showcasing the region’s successes; working collaboratively to get the best out of regional successes such as the Great Exhibition of the North, the Great Places Schemes, Creative Fuse run by the five Universities; and, potentially, the success of Sunderland in the City of Culture bid.
Matthew continued: “Whether that is encouraging more people to attend cultural events, offering specific programmes for children and young people, finding innovative ways to create job opportunities and attract expertise to the region, developing the investment opportunities for overseas businesses in the North East or exporting North East arts, heritage and culture around the world – these five teams will work together under the guidance of NECP to cement the significance of these industries to our region and find avenues for growth.”