Agenda item

Cultural Strategy Update - Jon Finch and Coby Walsh (15 minutes) (Nac.11.09.2023/4)


Members received a presentation from J Finch, which outlined the reasons as to why Barnsley needs a Cultural Strategy to ensure its work around participation and engagement with culture and heritage, and its contribution to the visitor economy which is strategically aligned to the Barnsley 2030 priorities of the borough and B2030 outcomes.


Councillor Howard welcomed the Cultural Strategy.  At a Cabinet Meeting, she had raised the point that Members had wide knowledge of their respective communities, and she had highlighted the need for Members to be at the forefront of discussions.  Councillor Howard agreed that focus should be given to local engagement initiatives i.e. the Youth Choir and Angel Voices.  Funding had been provided to the Community Choir to provide arts, crafts and singing workshops etc. during the school holiday period, and an older persons’ afternoon club had been ran to tackle social isolation.


Councillor Denton welcomed the engagement made with the Ward Alliances and Members of the Area Councils.  He considered that engagement with the wider community and getting people involved would prove to be a real challenge.


In response, J Finch commented that initially engagement would be made with the Area Councils and Ward Alliances, part of the process would be to assess which groups were/were not engaged with and to identify the gaps to enable further work.  Further work would be undertaken in 2024 to ensure that engagement was made with as many groups as possible.


In response to a question raised by Councillor Tattersall as to how a judgement was made of which groups should receive funding, J Finch commented that although there was not a huge amount of resourcing available, there was an option to secure additional investment i.e. for choirs, theatre groups etc.  There would also be an opportunity to allow individuals to work together more productively, rather than in investment terms.  Thought would be given to creating additional performance and/or work spaces in a more efficient way.


Councillor Leech expressed his thanks for a very comprehensive presentation and report.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.

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