A Cultural Strategy for West Cumbria 2022-27
We have devised a Cultural Strategy for West Cumbria in conjunction with Copeland Borough Council. This was agreed at our Executive meeting on 23 November 2022.
What is the cultural strategy all about?
The Cultural Strategy is built on a powerful shared ambition for long-term generational change, and the central role that culture must play in the future success of West Cumbria. The Strategy recognises the value of investing in culture as a vital element of producing systemic transformation in key outcomes areas – such as mental health wellbeing and skills.
Put simply, this must be a ‘socially engaged cultural strategy’. This means not only a commitment to respond to the needs and aspirations of local communities, seeking at all times to enrich the opportunities available to them. But also, the imperative to focus directly on how to build and strengthen those communities and their sense of agency.
It will only be through new ways of funding, producing and valuing culture that culture in West Cumbria will level up. And this is where this strategy steps in and steps up - the time is right for a new model aimed at bringing community and culture closer together, where greater exposure to culture and creative thinking and practice will open up new ‘possibilities’, help tackle the impacts of social inequality and dial up confidence in West Cumbria.
A socially engaged strategy is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition, for future success. It must be combined with partnerships and collective leadership that works to ensure this cultural strategy becomes an embedded part of a long-term strategy for generational change in West Cumbria. To those ends, this Cultural Strategy acts as a manifesto for partnership working which will together to deliver its core ambitions.