Help Shape New Culture Strategy for South Tyneside
People passionate about South Tyneside's arts and heritage are being given the opportunity to have their say on the development of a new cultural strategy.
The Council is currently working on updating the Borough's Cultural Strategy. It will set out the important role that culture can play in the delivery of the Council's vision for the future of South Tyneside.
An extensive public consultation exercise has been launched and people have the chance to share their views online until Friday 12 March.
The responses received via the online survey will help the Council and cultural partners to shape the new strategy.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "South Tyneside is such a special place, where people are passionate about the area and take great pride in their culture. It has so much to offer for both residents and visitors alike.
"This past year has really highlighted just how important culture is and the positive impact it can have on our health and wellbeing. With many cultural venues greatly missed, people have turned to our beautiful open spaces and found new creative ways of enjoying the arts, from books, writing and exhibitions to theatre and dance, albeit virtually in most cases.
"We would love to hear from anyone interested in culture, heritage and the arts to share their views and help us shape a Borough where inspiring cultural experiences make a positive difference to people's lives."
The Cultural Strategy 2021-2026 will outline how the provision of good quality cultural experiences will be crucial in delivering the Borough's vision for the future.
It will reflect the significant investment already made in cultural, library and leisure facilities across South Shields, Hebburn and Jarrow over the last ten years.
This includes the development of Jarrow Community Pool, Haven Point leisure complex as well as Hebburn Central and Jarrow Focus, which bring together leisure, library and cultural facilities under one roof. Further investment has been committed to upgrade Monkton Stadium.
The Council has also supported local people to take ownership of smaller library branches, such as Whitburn Library, enabling them to upgrade and strengthen the offer available at these beloved community facilities.
There has also been considerable progress towards a vision for South Shields to become the North East's premier coastal resort all-year-round. The Town Centre regeneration capitalises on the area's stunning seafront and riverside locations, strengthening their links with the town centre and providing an exciting mix of new leisure, cultural, commercial and retail opportunities.
It has already seen major developments such as The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, Harton Quays Park, the restoration of seafront parks, new Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall and improvements to Sandhaven.
Ambitions for a vibrant new Cultural Quarter on South Shields riverside at Holborn will further enhance the Borough's culture and leisure offer.
The Council continues to promote and celebrate the Borough's rich history, heritage and culture with a full programme of activities. These include community and commemorative events, a Blue Plaques scheme as well as support local cultural attractions like The Customs House, Jarrow Hall and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives.
Councillor Atkinson added: "It is important that we have an up-to-date strategy that not only recognises our sites of historic importance, but considers the role that new attractions, investment in arts and regeneration play in making South Tyneside an attractive place to live, work, visit and bring up families.
"We want the entire cultural sector to take ownership of the strategy which is why it will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders. Demonstrating the Borough's strong commitment to working together will also help to unlock external funding towards promoting and improving culture and arts in South Tyneside in the future."
Separate consultation is taking place across the Borough's full spectrum of art forms, from writers, dance and theatre groups to cultural partners and venues, galleries and museums.
Members of the public have until the consultation closing date of Friday 12 March to submit their views via the online survey.