£1.5 million set to build a more inclusive cultural offer in Gloucester

Arts Council England has awarded Gloucester Culture Trust £500,000 from its National Lottery Place Partnerships Fund to deliver a transformative three-year cultural programme in Gloucester. The project, Together Gloucester will receive a further £450,000 from Gloucester City Council and £550,000 from partners, bringing the total funding package for creativity and culture to £1,500,000.

Over the next three years Together Gloucester will work with communities to co-create a new vision for culture in the city. Led by a cross-sector partnership, the programme aims to engage new audiences with arts, heritage and placemaking.

Residents will explore Gloucester’s unique identity through a year-round events programme. Inclusivity and accessibility are fundamental to the project, providing new opportunities for the community to inform decision making and improve their health and wellbeing. Activities will welcome diverse perspectives and encourage collaboration to understand what is working, what could improve and how the city can nurture a collective pride in place.

The full public programme will include: A Citizens Panel; new funding opportunities; talent development programmes; community-led events; and skills training to generate career opportunities and improve the local economy. The first Together Gloucester funding opportunity will be announced in the next few months.

Together Gloucester is the result of two years of research and partnership working across the city and will involve a range of delivery partners and community organisations.

Together Gloucester has been developed by Gloucester Culture Trust and partners Active Gloucestershire, Gloucester BID, Gloucester City Council, Gloucester Community Building Collective, Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, GUST, The Music Works, University of Gloucestershire, and Young Gloucestershire.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: "This is a welcome development for Gloucester Culture Trust - their ambitious work to engage people from all walks of life with culture is deserving of support. Making Gloucester a thriving city where culture plays an essential role in how we work, live and play is an aspiration we all share. By 2030 we want England to be a country in which everyone can access high-quality cultural experiences on their doorstep. Thanks to this National Lottery-supported Place Partnership award, that future looks a little closer.”

Miranda Eeles, Executive Director - Gloucester Community Building Collective and Strategic Partner said: “We work with residents across the city, enabling them to follow their dreams and passions for themselves, their neighbourhoods and communities. Together Gloucester will provide our community builders with an additional tool to help uncover and nurture new and creative talent and encourage connection through art in all its forms.”

Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture at Gloucester City Council, Councillor Andy Lewis, said: “This is exciting news for Gloucester, as a vital part of any vibrant city is its arts and cultural sector and we are committed to investing in the cultural life of Gloucester. This announcement builds on our successful levelling up bid to create an £11 million Greyfriars Quarter with a new cultural hub combined with the recent renovation of the Guildhall and ongoing improvements at Gloucester Museum. We are putting culture at the heart of the huge regeneration taking place across the city.”

Phil Hindson, Chief Executive of Gloucester Culture Trust, the organisation leading on the project, emphasised the importance of partnership working: "Together Gloucester is an ambitious scalable project made possible through the Arts Council’s Place Partnership funding programme, Gloucester City Council’s festivals and events budget, and significant investments from project partners. The journey continues, working with other funders and sponsors to grow this programme for the city. This investment is testament to the power of collective efforts in driving positive change for the city, by the city. It's a real indication of the commitment of the council and partners to work together in achieving this ambition, and it's brilliant to have this support from Arts Council England."

Partner Emily Gibbon Gloucester City Centre BID Manager shares: “I see Together Gloucester as an opportunity to tie the city together, geographically and culturally, with the community taking a lead for step change.