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Cultural Investments at GBSLEP

Our new report ‘Investing in Culture: Enhancing opportunities across the GBSLEP region’ will be published soon. This sector-led study will explain LEP thinking around ‘Cultural Action Zones’, ‘Building Cultural Development Capacity’ and our ‘Cultural Characteristics Test’.

This test ensures alignment between GBSLEP’s broad economic development objectives and cultural developments. It will be applied to all funding applications we receive – revenue or capital – that contain a cultural dimension. It will not replace existing assessment criteria but will sit alongside them, ensuring that cultural projects are assessed fairly.

Under these investment criteria, all new cultural sector projects will be measured against the following characteristics:

Characteristic 1: Builds on regional distinctiveness

Successful projects will be able to articulate and demonstrate how they capture, reflect or create a strong sense of distinctive identity that contributes to a broader narrative about the qualities of a place.

Characteristic 2:  Extends or creates new ‘world-leading’ assets

Successful projects will not just be seeking to copy an existing asset or ‘catch up’ with a similar project elsewhere, but rather seeking to learn from, and extend, best international practice.

Characteristic 3: Takes an innovative approach to cultural investment

Successful projects will clearly display an innovative business model, including an approach to sustainability that goes beyond that of merely extending or enlarging their existing business practice.

Characteristic 4: Contributes to a cluster/ecosystem-based model

Successful projects will contribute to an existing, or catalyse a new, geographic ‘cluster’ of cultural institutions, with a view to leveraging audiences, supply chains and future market growth.

Please contact GBSLEP for more information about these investment criteria, asking for our ‘Creative & Cultural Lead’.

More on the LEPs approach to culture and cultural assets can be found here.

More on the LEPs wider work across the creative industries can be found here.