Agenda item

Barnsley Culture Strategy Engagement - Jon Finch (HWBB.01.06.2023/4)


Jon Finch, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, Barnsley MBC, delivered a presentation to the update the Board on the progress being made towards the development of a Cultural Strategy for Barnsley. 


The Board heard about Barnsley’s strengths in relation to culture and arts, noting that there was a very strong Council museum and events offer. There were also wider strengths in Barnsley regarding heritage and music.  It was highlighted that there were current gaps in Barnsley relating to Studio Space, SMEs and freelancers.  Furthermore, there was currently limited understanding of grassroots activity and local participation. 


The Board also heard that Barnsley MBC has an exceptional opportunity to use culture as a key driver to help deliver its Barnsley 2030 Strategy.  Culture was for everyone, and it must be rooted in the needs of local people.  Every effort would be made to ensure that Cultural Strategy represents all the Borough and be truly diverse. 


The Board noted that the Strategy would build on existing successful Area structures by working with teams across Barnsley MBC.  Additional engagement would also take place with key community groups.  There would also be a focus on wider challenges, primarily health and wellbeing, tackling poverty, skills and employability. 


A diagram was presented showing how key themes can work together and benefit all of the people visiting Barnsley. 


The timetable for the development of Barnsley’s Cultural Strategy and progress made to date was presented.  It was noted that there would be four key phases of work, as detailed below:


·            Phase 1: Research and development (June to September 2023):

-       Project Governance

-       Creative Engagement workshops with Area Councils and Ward Alliances

-       Stakeholder Engagement

-       Sector mapping

-       Sector Engagement


·     Phase 2: Review and next steps (October to November 2023)

-       Review by Project Board

-       Gaps identified for further engagement

-       Report produced


·     Phase 3 – Further Engagement with communities and stakeholders (December 2023 – January 2024)

-       Further Stakeholder Engagement

-       Creative Community Engagement


·     Phase 4 – Strategy Development (February to March 2024)

-       Priorities identified

-       Strategic directions identified

-       Workshop stakeholders and Councilors

-       Strategy online and published


It was suggested that the Board receives a further update on the development of the Barnsley Cultural Strategy in 6-9 months’ time. 


The Board asked how engagement would take place with hard-to-reach young adults with learning disabilities and autism.  In response, it was reported that, as part of Phase 1 work, discussions would take place with Area Councils, Wards Alliances and with key partners to map where there are currently gaps in order that engagement could be undertaken with those individuals in a sympathetic and sensitive manner. 


A discussion took place around the enrichment of children and young people’s lives.  It was suggested to Jon that a conversation takes place with Carrie Abbott or Nina Sleight with regards to the development and engagement work which is currently taking place around the enrichment of children and young people’s lives.


The Chair thanked Jon for his presentation and wished to place on record her congratulations to everyone who was currently working on the development of the Barnsley Cultural Strategy which would enhance residents’ health and wellbeing. 




i)           That the presentation be noted.


ii)          That the Board receives a further update on the development of the Barnsley Cultural Strategy in 6-9 months’ time.

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