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Enhance and harness the potential of our cultural and creative assets

Culture and placemaking is a key part of GBSLEP’s strategy, strengthening the economy and improving the quality of life for our citizens. Birmingham has arguably the strongest cluster of major arts organisations in any English city outside London. GBSLEP’s wider geography has a rich and diverse cultural ecology and opportunities, such as the Commonwealth Games in 2022, will bring long-term investment.

The LEP have recently co-invested in Birmingham’s Dance Hub  and the National Memorial Arboretum, with other cultural pipeline projects being developed.

But overall cultural funding is challenged, with reduced public grants and demands on cultural experiences from audiences, there is a need for cultural organisations to re-invent themselves.

GBSLEP are supporting these challenges and opportunities through their ‘Place Delivery Plan’, publishing soon, which will include a number of cultural actions:

  • Create Cultural Action Zones – to move away from individual project assessment to considering a group of organisations and their relationship together within a cultural ecology
  • Building Cultural development capacity – enabling cultural organisations to work together more effectively and identify priority actions around the region

GBSLEP will prioritise its cultural investments by applying four tests to ensure projects:

  • Build on regional distinctiveness
  • Extend or create new ‘world-leading’ assets
  • Take an innovative approach to cultural investment
  • Contribute to a cluster/ecosystem-based model

The cultural agenda is included in the region-wide Creative Industries Local industrial strategy Sector Plan. It also connects with the LEPs broader work across the Creative industries as a high growth sector.