Colchester Borough Council launches new Cultural Strategy

PUBLISHED: 10 March 2022

Colchester Borough Council (CBC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Cultural Strategy for the borough.

The new strategy agreed at last night’s Cabinet meeting, is a commitment in the council’s Strategic Plan and will strengthen and support the borough’s cultural sector for the remainder of the decade, until 2030.

The strategy has been developed by specialist consultant Counterculture and in partnership with the council’s strategic arts partners. It draws on all spectrums of the borough’s cultural landscape including the arts, creative industries, heritage and the public realm, and has also taken into consideration links to green spaces, tourism and events.

During the development of the strategy, wide consultation took place with individuals, communities and organisations across the borough, as well as external stakeholders such as Arts Council England and Essex County Council. This helped inform the development of the priority themes and the action plan included in the document.

Councillor Darius Laws, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Business and Heritage for Colchester Borough Council, said: “I’m thrilled to be able to launch the borough’s new Cultural Strategy. Working in collaboration with partners including Arts Council England, our local national portfolio organisations, the Creative Colchester Partnership, the University of Essex, the Colchester BID, and others, it presents a positive vision for the future of arts and culture across the borough of Colchester.”

Anthony Roberts, Director of The Arts Centre, Colchester, added: “Every morning, when I walk to work through our beautiful Castle Park, I think how lucky I am to live in Colchester. It’s not often a strategic document captures the joy as well as the detail of a town’s cultural community. A great platform for future work.”

Steve Mannix, Executive Director The Mercury Theatre, said: “As we all recover from the impact of Covid, the arts, culture and heritage can do so much to bring us all back together to celebrate life again. Arts and culture have been an integral part of Colchester for centuries. Everyone at the Mercury looks forward to good times ahead, to working with local artists and to celebrating all that is best about Colchester!”

Sally Shaw MBE, Director of Firstsite Colchester said, Sally Shaw MBE, Director of Firstsite Colchester, said: “Art and creativity are such a vital part of life – and Colchester is bursting with fantastic venues, creative talent and partnerships, which all contribute in so many ways to our vibrant town and community. This new strategy will help Colchester champion art and culture on a larger scale than ever before, so that more people can enjoy all the benefits that being creative – in all its forms – can bring. It’s exciting to think what we can achieve as a community by unlocking and firing up all our imaginations and using these as the places to shape a better future.”

Hazel Edwards, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, added: “We’re delighted that Colchester Borough Council is setting out its commitment to culture and all that it offers to people and places through this new cultural strategy. The fact that local communities have played such an important role in its development is very welcome and we look forward to working with the local authority, and wider stakeholders across Colchester, as they deliver their exciting vision for the future of arts, culture and creativity across the borough.”

Hana Loftus, Chair, Creative Colchester Partnership, said: “Creative Colchester welcomes the recommendations in the Cultural Strategy to strengthen the inclusive and collaborative partnership working which we facilitate across the creative and digital sector. We look forward to playing our part in supporting the sector as we emerge from the pandemic, making Colchester the best place possible for creative practitioners and businesses to thrive.” Hana Loftus, Chair, Creative Colchester Partnership

Read the strategy here CBC Cultural Strategy

Page last reviewed: 10 March 2022


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.