South Tyneside Named as Arts Council England Priority Place
South Tyneside is set to benefit from enhanced investment in culture after being named as a Priority Place by Arts Council England.
Today, Arts Council England (ACE) has announced that the Borough will be one of 15 Priority Places across the north where they want to develop new opportunities for investment, as part of the publication of their three-year Delivery Plan for 2021.
As a Priority Place, South Tyneside will benefit from increased support and closer collaboration with the ACE. It comes as South Tyneside Council develops its new Cultural Strategy, which will set out how good quality cultural experiences will be crucial in delivering its vision for the future.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with special responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "We are delighted to be selected as a Priority Place by Arts Council England.
"Culture plays a hugely significant role in making South Tyneside such a special place to live, work and visit. It also has a positive impact on the health and well-being of residents, not to mention its contribution to the economy, jobs and tourism.
"We have some first-class heritage attractions, such as Arbeia Roman Fort and Jarrow Hall, as well creative groups and arts organisations, including the Customs House, that celebrate our rich and diverse culture and heritage. We also have a vibrant annual events programme, which attracts thousands of people every year.
"As in other areas, our cultural sector has really suffered during the pandemic. Being a Priority Place unlocks much-needed investment and support and this will go a long way in helping the Borough to recover. It will also enable us to improve and showcase our cultural offer to wider audiences, giving more people the opportunity to enjoy inspiring high-quality cultural experiences that make a positive difference to their lives."
South Tyneside is named as one of 54 Priority Places across England where ACE will work closely with each area to develop new opportunities for investment, both from the Arts Council and other partners.
The areas have been chosen through a set of criteria based on a review of current public investment and opportunities to engage with creative and cultural activity. Each of the priority places are ambitious to drive positive change through culture.
Priority Places form part of Arts Council England's three-year Delivery Plan, which sets out a detailed roadmap to implement the vision of their strategy Let's Create: by 2030 England will be a country in which the creativity of each individual is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where everyone has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.
The publication of the Delivery Plan follows the Government's £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Fund, administered by the Arts Council and other bodies. Driven by the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, it is the biggest one-off investment in culture from the government in history, providing a vital lifeline to save the country's cultural sector and help organisations in reopening.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: "Artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have found creative new ways to serve their audiences and communities since the start of the pandemic.
"Our new Delivery Plan shows how we'll work with them to build on that spirit of imagination and innovation as our society reopens.
"It's particularly exciting to be focusing on our 54 priority places over the coming years, as part of the Art Council's commitment to play its part in delivering on the government's programme of levelling up. We're looking forward to nurturing dynamic new partnerships with local people and organisations in each of these locations."
Jane Tarr, Director, North, Arts Council England, said: "I am thrilled to announce that South Tyneside is among our 15 priority places across the North. The launch of our Delivery Plan, which sets out how we'll implement our new 10-year strategy Let's Create, and the announcement of our priority places will see us working closely with partners across South Tyneside to ensure that creativity and culture can play a key role in levelling up across the North.
"The Government's Culture Recovery Fund has provided a lifeline to arts and cultural organisations during the pandemic. It is important that we now continue to invest in the cultural sector to ensure everyone across the country can access arts and culture no matter where they live. The launch of our Delivery Plan and announcement of a set of priority places affirms our commitment to this.
"The local community is at the heart of South Tyneside's cultural sector. I look forward to working with the sector and local authorities to build upon the fantastic work the creative organisations and individuals are doing in the region to ensure everyone has an opportunity to access excellent arts and culture."