Halton celebrated a wide range of incredible events during 2021, including MakeFest with Mako Create, Celebrate Halton Music and an outdoor music festival with The Studio, Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, a programme of exhibitions and workshops at the pop-up activity hub Culture HQ and the larger-than-life light installations along Norton Priory’s woodland trail at Light. From music festivals to street-theatre shows and pop-up performances, it was a year to celebrate the borough’s rich history, culture and communities.
Dan Williamson, Senior Producer for Art Reach, explains further: “The partnership that came together to deliver the Borough of Culture programme was incredible. To have the opportunity to celebrate together with the whole community was challenging during the pandemic but, within guidelines, there were some memorable times created in Halton last year. It has been amazing to be able to deliver a long-term programme of events that had great support from local people but that reached out to new audiences and visitors too. The year as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture has really boosted local spirits.”
With aspirations in the borough running high, we’re pleased to be taking this relationship with the local authority a step further as we begin to work on a new strategy for Halton’s cultural future.
An ambitious new Cultural Strategy for Halton is aiming to grow its profile as a place of creative power and potential. It will be developed with local cultural, educational and civic organisations to be “outcomes-focussed”. A series of public and private consultations will take place throughout 2022 to help steer the vision behind the new cultural strategy.
Jo Dacombe, our Arts and Heritage Consultant, said: “We have a long history of developing regional or city-wide cultural strategies, including a recent one for the city of York, which is aiming to be a UNESCO World Heritage site by 2025. As we recently curated and managed the celebrations for Halton as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2021, we’ve got to know the local area really well. Last year, there were consultations about what type of cultural activity and celebrations the people in Halton wanted to explore for the events, so there are already established relationships with key cultural or civic partners, but we hope to reach more through our consultation for the strategy. Over the year of cultural celebrations, people gained a real interest in what happens on their own doorstep, so it’s going to be a rewarding process to help steer the borough’s vision for cultural development over the next few years too.”
From a series of events, festivals and concerts to facilitating the creation of the borough’s new strategy for cultural development in the years ahead, we see huge benefits in longer-term relationships: “A concerted vision, such as a new cultural strategy, will also lead to greater funding success for local initiatives. Inherently, these successes and developments will have many benefits for local business, alongside local people enjoying a deeper, more engaging experience of the culture and history they can celebrate in their own communities.”
Our Consultancy Team is available to help develop your cultural organisation’s long-term vision too – to consult on fundraising or to lead applications – and we take great joy in the success that good partnerships can bring. We’re always happy to discuss your organisational or cultural development requirements, contact Jo@Artreach.org.uk to let us know about your ambitions for the future!