A culture plan for the capital

A new ‘Culture Plan for the Capital’ has been developed to guide Edinburgh’s cultural future.

Usher Hall lit up during the Harmonium Project
Usher Hall lit up during the Harmonium Project

The actions-based approach to supporting and developing the creative sector has been developed by the City of Edinburgh Council with input from a wide variety of sectors including business, funding bodies, festivals, performers, artists, producers and venues.

It follows a three-year appraisal of the Capital’s Cultural Policy which was last reviewed in 1999. The appraisal identified Edinburgh has established an active and successful culture scene but requires “a shared agenda” and year-round set of objectives and actions in order to grow.

The new Culture Plan will set out six key objectives and ways of working with the cultural community and 23 actions in the first instance - including the creation of a One-Stop-Shop of support and advice for the public and cultural community and a dedicated Culture Task Force.

If approved by Councillors at a meeting of the Culture & Sport Committee on Monday 30 November, the new Culture Plan will be adopted in early 2016.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener, said: “Edinburgh is a global destination for creativity, innovation and excellence in the arts. We haven’t built and maintained this reputation by chance. Our 1999 Cultural Policy has been very successful - and indeed led to the creation of Festivals Edinburgh - but the landscape has changed dramatically over the last 16 years.

“We are planning to refresh our ways of thinking and working with the creative sector. Our vision will still be to maintain and build on Edinburgh’s world-wide reputation for the arts and festivals, but we’ll also focus on home-grown talent and infrastructure and better collaboration.

“We want to work harder with our partners across the city and across Scotland to create an environment which attracts and retains artists and creative people. We need to identify new and collaborative ways of funding and resourcing the sector, and are already looking at the potential of an ‘open fund’ to support grass roots talent.

“Something we can do within the Council is helping make it simpler for people to get the support they need. We are proposing a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach to supporting culture in the city and we’ll adopt this nimble attitude to make sure the Culture Plan can react to changing sector needs.

“Should it be approved next week, the new Culture Plan and dedicated online resources for the cultural community will launch in early 2016.”

Download the full report (Item 7.1).

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