The NECP strategy, Case for Culture, belongs to the whole region and its delivery and success will depend on the many stakeholders and partners and their enthusiasm and commitment. The strategy acts as a framework for action across the region and beyond.
The five aspirations in Case for Culture each has one or more sub-groups working on its delivery and co-ordinating activity. Membership can change over time and, if the work of a particular group is completed, then they can be relatively short lived – the key is that they are focussed on helping to deliver Case for Culture for the region.
This section outlines the work of these groups and the make-up of the membership.
Festivals and events
This group has been active in pulling together the activity across the region to ensure that major events don’t clash and that partners can support each other in their strategic aims. A good example is the support across the region for the various bids for Capital of Culture status and the recent regional success in winning the Great Exhibition of the North based on a bid led by one of the partners, but supported by the regional stakeholders. This group has created a Festival and Events strategy for the region which can be seen on the C4C web-site.
The Universities sub-group brings together the five universities in the region and has already had success in securing significant funds for the Creative Fuse project and is currently looking for European funding to expand the work. Other areas where the Universities are active include the areas of health and culture and the links between arts and heritage.
The Business group has brought together the business and cultural sectors and has established a number of activities that help to deliver greater economic benefits from the culture and heritage sectors as well as support he business sector in its ambitions. One of the projects, 100 x 100, links arts graduates with local businesses to give artists the opportunity to work in a commercial environment and exposes businesses to the benefits of arts and cultural activity in their organisations.
Children and Young People
Tyne and Wear Museums leads the CYP sub-group and they bring together key practitioners in helping engage young people in cultural and heritage activity. One of the central aspirations in the C4C strategy is that of encouraging, enabling and supporting young people in access to and engagement with culture in all its forms. The central task of this group at the moment is developing a regional CYP strategy to act as a sub-set of the main Case for Culture.
The North East has international as well as regional and national aspirations and the International sub-group seeks to build on an already impressive record of links and international links within the region. A survey undertaken by the sub-group shows that the north east has cultural partnerships with around a third of the countries in the world. The region also has cultural links with two other European regions, one of which led to the recent Tall Ships Festival held in Blyth. The next steps for the International sub-group is to build stronger links between the international cultural activity and the wider commercial and business trade. This will benefit the regional economy by adding culture to the regional offer overseas and also help develop new opportunities for the cultural agencies to secure wider links internationally.