Culture South West
- Professor Martin Elson (Department of Planning), Director, OISD:SPU
- Lesley Downing (Department of Planning), Research Associate, OISD:SPU
- total grant value: £8,000
- time duration: September 2004 January 2005
produce a statement setting out the importance of cultural facilities and activities to the region;
propose a themed set of principles to underpin development of the regional cultural infrastructure, for discussion and debate;
propose principles for and approaches to cultural provision at sub-regional level, for discussion and debate;
consult with the regional cultural agencies, lottery distributors and a sample of local authorities to identify existing facility databases and to ascertain perceived gaps in cultural provision at sub-regional and regional level;
identify key next steps in the development of a regional, cultural infrastructure development strategy for the South West .
The study proceeded by assessing a wide range of regional strategies and research undertaken by the various cultural agencies, and conducting a range of face to face and telephone interviews with representatives of the region’s cultural agencies and lottery distributing bodies. Interviews were held with local authority officers involved in developing sub-regional studies in a sample of the Joint Study Areas. In addition, interviews were held with representatives of the South West Regional Assembly, South West RDA and Government Office for the South West. The draft final report was discussed at a stakeholder workshop prior to revision for final publication.
The following key recommendations were made:
- REC 1; A spatial dimension should be factored in to current Culture South West priorities and future priorities should be closely aligned with the emerging RSS-SW;
- REC 2; Appropriate methodology for sub-regional cultural strategies should be devised and put into practice;
- REC 3; Regional cultural agencies should consider how far different approaches to provision are useful in fostering increased participation. This would be within the context of the notion of cultural entitlement;
- REC 4; The cultural agencies should promote the preparation of comprehensive and strategic guidance for planning obligations for cultural activity in a selected sub-region;
- REC 5; A study should be carried out of the scope for and success of ‘Joint Service Centres’ for aspects of cultural provision. This could assess specific site-based examples;
- REC 6; An investigation should be carried out of the validity of different forms of joint cultural service centre in rural locations, and other ways of improving participation in rural areas, in the context of the regeneration and social inclusion agendas;
- REC 7; An investigation should be carried out into the preferred form, and methods of working, for sub-regional cultural partnerships in the region;
- REC 8; An investigation of the links between characterisation, the protection of culturally valued elements of an area, and tourism activity, should be carried out.
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