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Blackpool Council sets up cultural partnership to help Covid-hit arts sector

ART GALLERY

A “cultural partnership” is being set up in a resort to help its arts sector recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the local council has said.

Blackpool Council will support the establishment of the scheme, but it will be run independently, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

An assessment of the arts scene was carried out by the council earlier.

Several initiatives, including the establishment of a creative hub in the town centre on Topping Street, have already begun.

A plan to open live-in studios for artists is also being considered.

In March, a survey conducted as part of the town’s Heritage Action Zone programme discovered “a wealth of creative talent currently working in Blackpool, ranging from amateur enthusiasts and community groups to professional artists and creative businesses.”

Arts Council England named Blackpool as one of 54 priority places for investment in September

In total, £2.3m was received by organisations in Blackpool from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, while the council has given £300,000 to 73 cultural-led businesses through its own Business Recovery Fund.

Kath Benson, cabinet member for community engagement, aspiration, and community assets, stated at a council executive meeting that “culture and art are not something we always associate with Blackpool, but we have a wealth of talent that we should be extremely proud of.”

The council stated that it hoped that establishing Blackpool Cultural Partnership would play an important role in “developing a vision and maximising investment in the sector.”

In September, Arts Council England (ACE) designated Blackpool as one of 54 priority locations across the country where it wanted to develop new investment opportunities.

According to ACE CEO Darren Henley, artists, arts organisations, museums, and libraries have “found creative new ways to serve their audiences and communities since the start of the pandemic,” and the organization’s new plan demonstrates “how we’ll work with them to build on that spirit of imagination and innovation as our society reopens.”

“We’re excited to cultivate dynamic new partnerships with local people and organisations in each of these locations,” he added.

SourceBBC
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