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Success for Colchester’s Cultural Strategy Evening with Hanif Kureishi

PUBLISHED: 8 September 2021


Colchester Borough Council is delighted to announce that the public consultation event for a cultural strategy for Colchester, hosted by Hanif Kureishi at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre on the 1 September 2021, was well attended with nearly 200 people coming along to share their views.

The free event was organised as part of a wide-ranging consultation on the development of a new Cultural Strategy for the borough to be launched later this year and to be in place until 2030.

Hanif Kureishi, the celebrated novelist and screenwriter, began the evening by reading from his seminal work The Buddha of Suburbia. It was followed by a discussion of Colchester’s cultural future, which encouraged the audience to ask questions and submit their views on what could be included in the new strategy.

During the evening several important points were raised and discussed, which will be applied to the development of the strategy where possible. In addition, interviews are also underway with individual stakeholders, organisations and groups across the borough.

Once complete, the new cultural strategy will reflect and build upon the borough’s diverse cultural landscape, including the arts, creative industries, heritage and the public realm, and the links to tourism and events.

For residents who were unable to attend the evening, it is not too late to have your say. Residents and those who visit Colchester regularly are actively encouraged to take part in an online consultation to share their views on what they would like to do and see more of in Colchester over the next 10 years – whether it be theatre, music, arts, visiting museums or the cinema, or something else entirely. To take part click here to be taken to a short survey.

Colchester already has an incredibly vibrant and thriving cultural offering, which the council would like to develop and grow, increase participation and ensure is accessible for all the borough’s residents well into the future.

Councillor Darius Laws, Portfolio Holder for Economy, Business and Heritage for Colchester Borough Council, said: “I would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to the Mercury Theatre for hosting this event in their wonderful venue, and to all the residents who turned out to support Colchester’s cultural future. All your views will be listened to and will help shape arts and culture in Colchester for the next decade.”

Steve Mannix, Executive Director for the Mercury Theatre, added: “We were delighted to host the event and were overwhelmed with the turnout, ideas and passion from residents about the role that the arts and culture play in the life of our town. We look forward to working with Colchester Borough Council, our arts and cultural partners and the local community to create a clear vision for the arts in the future for everyone’.

The council is working with specialist agency the Counterculture Partnership to achieve this ambitious new strategy alongside Counterculture’s associate, Hanif Kureishi, who made this event possible.

Page last reviewed: 8 September 2021

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