Cultural Playing Field

Creative People and Places: Blackpool and Wyre by Robin Simpson
April 26, 2013, 1:18 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

I was in Blackpool on Thursday to meet the Blackpool and Wyre Creative People and Places consortium. The consortium, which includes Blackpool Coastal Housing, Blackpool Council, Wyre Borough Council, the Grand Theatre and Merlin Entertainments Limited (owners of Blackpool Tower), secured £3M from Arts Council England to develop engagement in the arts in the area over 3 years. The programme, titled ‘Playground of Wonders’, will use Blackpool’s unique cultural history and facilities to look at the links between ‘entertainment’ and ‘the arts’. There are 3 strands to the programme: ‘Roll up, roll up’ – working with communities to understand their aspirations; ‘Scream if you want to go faster’ – developing local decision-making and building the local arts infrastructure; and ‘Daring Delights’ – a series of arts activities and events. There is already a strong voluntary arts sector in Wyre and an emerging voluntary arts sector in Blackpool and plans are in place to involve local amateur arts groups in the programme. My visit to Blackpool completed my meetings with all 7 consortia granted funding in round one of Creative People and Places. Without exception I have found the consortium members across the country enthusiastic, determined and creative, with a good understanding of the importance of involving existing amateur arts groups in their programmes but an appreciation of the difficulties of doing so. I have great confidence that they will deliver impressive results over the next few years and I look forward to working with them all.

Robin Simpson.

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