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25 October 2023

A Cultural Strategy for a Creative Borough

Councillors at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have released their Cultural Strategy, developed with our Head of Consultancy, Jo Dacombe, at the launch of their new Creative Borough Initiative today.

Jo explained that “alongside our own festival delivery, it’s thrilling to be able to work on a long-term development plan like this Cultural Strategy. Our research shows that there is a fabulous foundation of culture and creativity to build upon in Nuneaton and Bedworth. Discovering local people’s ambitions and identifying opportunities to attract funding or generate new creative partnerships in the Borough has been a truly exciting process. There’s so much desire to work together and for people to celebrate the things that make the Borough a great place to live in, and the Cultural Strategy will certainly help make that happen.” 

The Cultural Strategy has been embedded in local professional and community consultations, as the public were also invited to look at their cultural and creative ambitions at drop-in sessions or through an online survey. This data and a strategic analysis of the Borough’s cultural sector informed the strategy which makes a series of recommendations for future cultural development and creative initiatives. Creating a long-term vision that has the local community and artists at its heart, it is hoped that the Cultural Strategy will reap positive benefits for the Borough for years to come. 

At the launch of the new Creative Borough Initiative today, the Creative Explorers programme was also shared, which will bring local artists and communities together to deliver and experience a series of events in the next two years. This is an amazing start for a new creative vision for the area. Working in partnership with the Borough and County Councils are nationally known organisations Imagineer Productions and Artichoke, who will certainly bring some exciting events to the people who live and work in Nuneaton and Bedworth. 

A new Cultural Forum will be set up to encourage joint working and sharing ideas as well as building relationships. Significant Arts Council England funding for the Creative Explorers programme will bring together Imagineer Productions and Artichoke with local artists and communities in Nuneaton and Bedworth to raise the profile of artists and creative activity in the Borough, creating a series of large-scale outdoor events and community participation opportunities. 

Priority areas identified in the Cultural Strategy also include the development of skills of local people in culture and the arts, using culture to support community initiatives and using culture to support the physical regeneration of the Borough. 

Jo, who led the public consultation process and strategy development explained further, “The key to a well-developed Cultural Strategy is consultation. You really have to dig into the local cultural sector to assess its strengths and opportunities, and the local communities must have an equally valued input. It’s been rewarding to get to know some of the great organisations and people in the area. There are some passionate people and creative ambition locally, and these are key for future cultural development.”  

As part of the consultation process, we interviewed some of the local creative sector representatives, including Sioux Watkins of The Makery, local Graffiti artist N4T4, Museum and Arts Officer at Nuneaton Museum Catherine Nisbet, Councillor Sue Markham and many others on the streets or at local events to find out about their creative and cultural ambitions for the area.  

Portfolio Holder for Public Services, Councillor Sue Markham said, “This Council is determined to make Nuneaton and Bedworth a great place to live, work and visit, and that is exactly what culture is all about. Culture helps establish a shared sense of identity and civic pride. It is all about what makes our Borough great, and I hope everyone will get behind some of the ideas in this document to help make this vision. We have said many times we are ‘Building a Better Borough’. We believe the imagination and creativity of local people are absolutely key, and we will be looking for opportunities to capitalise on these attributes.” 

With cultural ambitions riding high, funding secured for the Creative Explorers programme, the new development opportunities identified in the Cultural Strategy and a refreshed creative vision for the Borough, now it will take dedicated artists, support from local organisations and buy-in from local communities to make Nuneaton and Bedworth’s vision for a Creative Borough a reality!  



Three people looking into the camera at the summer fun event.

Image: Creative Consultation with The United Nations Board of Significant Inspiration

Three people standing together in a park.

Image: Riversley Park Summer Event

A group of people standing together at an outdoor summer fun event.

Image: Creative Consultation with The United Nations Board of Significant Inspiration

A group of people talking to each other in a park on a hot summer's day.

Image: Creative Consultation with The Bureau of Silly Ideas