Cultural strategy refresh underway – Coventry City Council

Coventry’s 10-year Cultural Strategy (2017-2027) is undergoing a refresh, with an additional Goal proposed called Coventry’s Green Future.

The refresh of the Strategy is being put together by Culture Change Coventry, a coalition of the cultural sector and key partners working together to maximise social and economic benefits from the cultural ecosystem in the city.

In 2019, Arts Council England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) supported the creation of 20 Cultural Compacts. These Compacts are partnerships designed to support the local cultural sector and enhance its contribution to development, with a special emphasis on cross-sector engagement beyond the cultural sector itself and the local authority. Culture Change Coventry is one of the 20 pilot Cultural Compacts.

The Coventry Cultural Strategy is currently based on Five Goals – Partnership, Lifelong Learning, Diversity, Health and Wellbeing and Economic Growth. Now, following initial engagement around the refresh and a review of progress to date, a sixth goal has been added, Coventry’s Green Future.

The refresh now underway provides stakeholders including Coventry residents the opportunity to review progress in the Strategy Goals to-date and contribute to priority outcomes going forward.

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Art and Culture in the city, said: “This is the right time to update the Cultural Strategy for Coventry.  We are now half-way into its ten-year period and we have learned so much from our year as UK City of Culture, including the value and impact of the arts, culture and creative industries for our the city and its people.

“We’ve seen some incredible events and arts and cultural programmes in the city within the past five years, including through the process of bidding for the UK City of Culture title and during our year itself so far.  In addition, 12 significant projects have been completed as part of the Council’s Cultural Capital programme – transforming city venues, heritage assets and production spaces – with several projects also underway and planned into our legacy period.  We have further seen wider investment and artist-led creativity transform our city centre spaces and public realm.

“Together, it is helping kickstart the economy of the city, and we are keen for all our residents, regardless of background and circumstance, to be able to engage with our city’s varied and exciting cultural life.”

A Strategy refresh engagement document has been created, reflecting progress under the strategy to-date, the City of Culture Trust’s legacy planning, an initial sector consultation day held in September 2021 and the response from ‘Art for the People – the Citizens Assembly’ organised by Talking Birds.

The Art for the People-Citizens’ Assembly is a representative group of citizens who were selected at random from the population of Coventry to learn about, deliberate upon, and make recommendations in relation to the question How will art, culture and creativity shape a better future for Coventry?

Cllr Welsh added: “Partnerships have also been crucial to Coventry’s cultural development journey over the past five years, and will be going forward. Without the dynamic and meaningful partnerships that have been created within the city we would not have achieved anything close to the considerable success that we have.

“We need set out the frameworks to create fresh opportunities for funding, innovation, growth and engagement. We are stronger together.”

Karamjit Singh, Chair of Culture Change Coventry, said: “The Cultural Strategy refresh engagement document sets out a 2022-2025 Action Plan for progress towards the 10-year goals. As well as seeking responses and support for the Action Plan we also want to ask people to respond to our call for action.

“Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and where you can commit to supporting those actions and outcomes which are relevant to you, your organisation and future planning.

“It is only by collective ownership, strong partnerships, honest and frank dialogue that we can achieve the outcomes set out in this document.”

Culture Change Coventry has stated its commitment to feeding back the results of this engagement process and working towards developing an environment that results in a cultural sector that is reflective, receptive and responsive towards our community.

To read more about the strategy and have your say visit

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