A new cultural strategy being facilitated by the local authority is going to embed the opinions of local residents, with public consultations having already begun. Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is working on this vision for the local area in partnership with Art Reach.
Jo Dacombe, our Arts and Heritage Consultant explains more about the process: “We’ve worked on many cultural strategies now, including one for the City of York and currently Halton Borough Council, with each one, like the areas we work in, being vastly different. Whilst there can be similarities, each region’s cultural offering, creative scene and people’s hopes for the future are as individual as the people living in the local communities, who we encourage to feed into this process.”
The basis of the cultural strategy is to learn what people want to see in their area over the next few years – through local people sharing their ideas and thoughts. What does the community take pride in and want more of? What creative opportunities need to be expanded? How do families choose to spend their free time and what do they want to experience? The development of the strategy begins with asking local people what they want – which is a chance for you to take your ambitions and community pride to a new level.
Cllr Kyle Evans, cabinet support member for public services at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, added: “We’re thrilled to involve local people in this strategy and really get to know more about the communities’ hopes for the future. With the easy-to-access online survey, residents can contribute their thoughts and ideas there and will can also share their vision in some relaxed creative consultations at local events this summer too. To ensure that they’re being fully inclusive, people are also able to complete paper surveys at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, leisure centres, community centres and local libraries, so there’s a route for everyone to let us know their thoughts.”
The teams at Art Reach and the local authority also intend to involve creative consultation tools in the process. The fantastic group of street theatre artists The Bureau of Silly Ideas, who have performed and entertained audiences all over the world, will be on hand at several summer events to encourage people to share their ideas and ambitions. Two free Picnic in the Park events will form a key part of these consultations with the team from The Bureau of Silly ideas appearing at:
- 10 August 12.00pm – 3.00pm Riversley Park, Nuneaton
- 17 August 12.00pm – 3.00pm Bailey Park, Bedworth
These events are aimed at families and all activities are free of charge.
There are also two focus groups which are open to all but aimed at people involved in cultural delivery or practising creatives.
- 22 August 6.00pm-8.00pm Bulkington Village Centre, Bulkington, book your free place here
- 26 August 2.15pm-4.15pm Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, Nuneaton, book your free place here
- 24 September 2.00pm-4.00pm Old Meeting Church, Bedworth, book your free place here
Jo Dacombe, our consultant who will help develop the strategy, told us why she feels public consultation is key to the process: “I particularly enjoy the chance to get around and meet the people that make the area thrive – we really need to know what excites locals on a cultural and creative level, what the communities need and learn how people want their own neighbourhoods to develop.”
The series of public consultations with community groups, local workers, creative and cultural organisations as well as opportunities open to all, will be delivered over the next two months to capture local people’s thoughts and hopes for the future. You can also contribute into the consultation process by completing the online survey here.