Coventry is a dynamic place of invention, cultural diversity and youthful ambition and is proud to be a leading city of culture in modern Britain.
That’s the key vision of the new city-wide Coventry Cultural Strategy 2017-27 which has been launched with Coventry’s business and cultural partners, artists and community leaders at an event hosted by The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
The strategy sets out a ten year vision for the cultural life of Coventry and builds on the existing heritage and culture of Coventry. Central to delivering the strategy are the proposed ‘Five Goals’ for cultural growth in the city, each of which is under-pinned by ‘Seven Big Ideas’ that support the transformation of the cultural life of the city and identify how culture can have a positive impact on learning, community cohesion, health and wellbeing and economic growth .
Approved by Cabinet in January 2017, the strategy outlines a vision for the city’s cultural offer, which will be a culturally attractive, vibrant and prosperous city to live in, work in and enjoy.
Its development has been funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and Coventry City Council, with support from both the University of Warwick and Coventry University, and is based on an extensive consultation process.
Cllr Linda Bigham, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Development, welcomed the strategy, saying:
“The strategy is a really important document for our city – it gives us the foundations that will allow us to build the future growth and sustainability of our assets.
“It has been developed with the help of local people and organisations, so it’s packed full of things that are important to our residents and the future hopes of our creative and cultural groups.
“Key to the success of the strategy will be to deliver a stronger cultural offer which will attract more tourism, make Coventry a more vibrant place to visit and enhance our city centre economy.”
The strategy was produced by some of the UK’s leading arts researchers from Coventry University, The University of Warwick and the Culture Creativity Place.
Professor Jonothan Neelands, from the University of Warwick, who led the team developing the strategy, said:
“We were delighted by the commitment we found across our city to creating, and delivering on, a long term cultural strategy for Coventry. As the strategy says ‘Cities that take culture seriously recognise that investments in culture have a wide range of other benefits which are both social and economic. A successful strategy needs to be distinctive, ambitious and based on a partnership that has a commitment and relevance to both the people and place of Coventry’.“
Dr Geoff Willcocks, Director of Arts and Culture, at Coventry University, added:
“Coventry University has played an important and active role in the creativity and cultural landscape of this city since the founding of the Coventry School of Design in 1843.
“We see this Cultural Strategy very much as the next stage of this journey and one which has the capacity to unlock the huge cultural potential of the city.”
Laura McMillan, Manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust said:
“The ten-year Cultural Strategy is key to enhancing Coventry as a city for culture and art for both its residents and short and long term visitors to the city.
“Bidding to be UK City of Culture in 2021 is already helping the city to establish what its assets are and, also, the challenges it faces. This strategy is a major step along that road.”
Georgina Egan, from EGO Performance Company, said:
“As someone who runs a small charitable arts venue in Coventry, the ten year cultural strategy offers us a monumental opportunity for our city and its citizens, to share a vision and work towards securing investment and developing a city where arts and culture are at the heart of everything. A city that people want to live in, want to work in, want to visit, a place where they enjoy, feel they belong and feel safe.
“If we all pull together, look out for each other and not leave anybody behind, we can achieve it.”
The full Coventry Cultural Strategy document, can be downloaded from www.covculture.com