Future of North East culture set for Westminster talks

The Royal Northern Sinfonia playing in the Great Hall at Durham Castle, at the launch of 'Case For Culture'
The Royal Northern Sinfonia playing in the Great Hall at Durham Castle, at the launch of 'Case For Culture'

The future of North East culture will be discussed at the House of Commons next week.

 Senior figures from the North East Culture Partnership will meet influential arts organisations and politicians, including the Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, at Westminster on Wednesday for the national launch of the region’s Case for Culture.

In July, the partnership hosted an event at Durham Castle to regionally announce its 15-year plan to boost cultural activity in the North East and attract investment.

The ambitious plan will build upon programmes already in place, such as the Cultural Spring, which is staging a host of activities in hard-to-reach communities across the north of Sunderland and South Tyneside.

All 12 North East local authorities are supporting the Case for Culture, as well as arts and heritage groups, health and well-being groups, businesses, private sector representatives and the region’s five universities.

Manifesto aims include reaching an extra 500,000 people a year through arts participation across the region and to increase the £100million worth of investment already in the pipeline to at least £300million in the next five years.

It’s hoped the plans will change the face of North East culture and place arts and heritage at the heart of economic and social regeneration.

The Westminster briefing is timed in advance of the forthcoming Spending Review and to inform the next DCMS White Paper on the Arts.

 John Mowbray, co-chairman of the partnership, said: “The Case for Culture builds on a long tradition in the North East of positively promoting and championing culture and creativity. It will be an important tool in influencing key decision-makers across a range of sectors. We believe it will play a valuable role in establishing the credibility, expertise and significance of the cultural sector to the economic life, health and well-being of the whole of the North East”.