Cultural plan set to put Gloucester on the map
An ambitious plan to make Gloucester a cultural hotspot has helped to drive the setting up of a new cultural hub, the UK’s first socially distanced artist commission and a cultural outreach scheme for people during lockdown.
Led by the Gloucester Culture Trust and backed by Gloucester City Council and local partners, the Cultural Strategy has seen a whole host of projects organised across the city.
Councillors at last week’s cabinet meeting heard how the strategy which has now been in place for almost five years is helping to boost the city’s creative scene.
Its aims include developing the local cultural and creative industries, supporting social and economic development, making the city centre a vibrant destination, increasing local audiences as well as supporting high profile events.
In June Gloucester hosted the UK’s first postlockdown socially-distanced artwork by internationally acclaimed artist Luke Jerram after the pandemic presented a challenge as to how people could enjoy cultural events.
Of Earth and Sky saw the artist work with poetry submissions from people across Gloucester’s communities and 30 poems were selected to be represented.
Gloucester Culture Trust also worked with Gloucester Community Building Collective and partners to commission 14 local artists to create 850 art packs aimed at families and teenagers. And sixty additional group activity packs were delivered to around 500 care home residents.
The creation of a new cultural hub at Kings House on Kings Square is also set to bring a boost to the city’s cultural scene.
Over a £1 million has been invested by Gloucester Culture Trust and The Music Works from Arts Council England, Great Place and a range of trusts and sponsors, with support from Gloucester City Council to bring the previously underused building back into use.
It will see the first floor of the building given over to Jolt, a new incubator for start up creative and cultural businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Music Works, which works with young people in challenging circumstances will take on the top floor to create music studios, teaching rooms and performance spaces.
Other successes include the development of nationally significant events such as the Strike a Light Festival, the Gloucester History Festival and the Kings Jam music festival.
Councillor Steve Morgan, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “It’s fantastic to see what has been achieved over the last few years and the wide variety of events and cultural activities that are now being offered. Culture and the creative industries are not only important for people’s health and well-being but also help make Gloucester a visitor destination, to support jobs and boost the local economy.”
A consultation to update the Strategy is currently taking place. To have your say visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GloucesterCulturalStrategy