New Cultural Strategy to Make Waves in South Tyneside
A new and vibrant shared vision for the future of arts, heritage and creative organisations is set to make waves across South Tyneside's cultural sector and beyond.
The new Cultural Strategy, Making Waves, aims to build on the Borough's unique and vibrant cultural offer, drawing on the area's vast creative talent and strengths and developing them to help reach more people.
The five-year strategy focuses on the positive impact culture has on the health and wellbeing of people, on the wider local area and the significant contribution it makes to the local economy, jobs and tourism - helping to promote South Tyneside as an attractive place to live, invest and enjoy.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "South Tyneside has such a unique and vibrant cultural offer which not only showcases our proud rich history and heritage but celebrates the fantastic arts and creative talent in our Borough.
"Through the strategy we explore how good quality cultural experiences can play a role in improving people's lives, boosting health and wellbeing and delivering our vision for the future of South Tyneside.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the high demand and huge value that is placed on cultural services, whether that is access to libraries, museums or arts-led groups to visiting our beaches and other attractions. Through the strategy, the Borough's cultural sector shares a vision to build on this momentum, to nurture and grow culture for the future."
Making Waves 2022-2027 reflects the 'ripple effect' that the strategy aims to achieve across the Borough's cultural sector and wider community.
It looks at how partners can work together and make the most of venues and outdoor spaces and share experience, equipment and pool resources to help generate more opportunities for creative groups, provide innovative new cultural experiences and deliver bigger and better events across the Borough.
The document is a collaboration between the Council and key cultural and heritage partners across South Tyneside. This includes The Customs House, Cultural Spring, Jarrow Hall, Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives, the National Trust and many more.
It has been developed following a public consultation, which attracted more than 500 responses from residents, community groups and key stakeholders both large and small.
Councillor Atkinson added: "It is important that we have an up-to-date plan that recognises our important historical sites and cultural assets, our brilliant artists, creative organisations and diverse communities. The strategy will strengthen the role they play in making South Tyneside thrive as an outstanding place to live, invest and enjoy.
"What's really important about Making Waves is that it has been shaped by, and will be led by, the Borough's cultural sector to be used by any local creative organisation operating in South Tyneside.
"We've not had a cultural strategy of this magnitude before. It is something that the entire arts, culture and heritage sector can get behind and can benefit from, helping to boost creativity and culture.
"Demonstrating the Borough's strong commitment to working together also helps to unlock external funding towards promoting and improving culture and arts in South Tyneside in the future."
Last autumn, South Tyneside was named as one of 54 Arts Council England Priority Places. The ACE works closely with Priority Places to develop new opportunities for investment. Moving forward, these areas will receive long term support from ACE, with arrangements remaining in place for a minimum period of three years. The new cultural strategy will enhance the impact of this work.
Making Waves is set to be presented to the Council's Cabinet next week (Wednesday 16 March) ahead of a formal launch on 17 March.