Square Chapel Centre for the Arts. Credit: courtesy of Square Chapel
The Cultural Destinations programme is part of the three year partnership between the Arts Council and VisitEngland, the national tourist board. It will enable arts and cultural organisations, working in partnership with destination management organisations, to increase their reach, engagement and resilience through working with the tourism sector.
At least £856 million of annual spending by tourists visiting the UK can be attributed to directly to arts and culture, but there is plenty of unexploited potential in the sector to do even more. The ten successful awards will run from March 2014 for a maximum of three years (ending no later than March 2017).
The successful applicants in the North are:
- The Brewery, Kendal (£324,000) - The main intention for the project will be to restore Cumbria's reputation as the UK's leading rural cultural tourism destination. It will do this by representing and celebrating a long-established model to create innovative and often revolutionary art in small and intimate places, which are rooted in the Lake District landscape, to a new contemporary audience. The Brewery will work with Cumbria Tourism, Lakeland Arts Trust, Wordsworth Trust, Grizedale Sculpture, Kendal Arts International, Theatre by the Lake, Lake District National Park Authority, National Trust and South Lakeland District Council
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (£316,500) and other members of Liverpool Arts and Regeneration Consortium (LARC) will work with cultural organisations, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region LEP and other visitor economy organisations in the City to identify new ways of using the existing arts and culture offer to support the business tourism agenda. The Consortium will develop unique and effective collaborative cultural 'packages' for Liverpool focussed on recognised growth markets and specific opportunities over the next 3 years; these will include the International Festival for Business in 2014 and over 30 major conferences that will take place in the City between now and 2017
- The Sheffield Cultural Partnership (£271,390 ) which includes Sheffield Theatres, Museums Sheffield, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, Site Gallery, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield International Venues, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Workstation/Showroom, Marketing Sheffield, Doc/Fest, Tramlines, Off The Shelf, Art Sheffield and Festival of the Mind, plans to extend its existing creative signposting, the popular website Our Fave Places, and publish District Guide listings. The city's festivals will be supported to attract reviewers and industry professionals
- Square Chapel Arts Centre (£292,500) will use arts and culture to boost tourism in the region, encourage more overnight stays and develop collaborative packages for tourists. It will be run jointly by Calderdale Council, Halifax Minster, Halifax Festival, Eureka! The National Children's Museum and the Piece Hall as well as council-run venues such as the Victoria Theatre, Bankfield Museum and the new Central Library and Archive.
The other six successful applications are: Bristol Old Vic & partners, Cornwall Arts Centre & partners, Firstsite Limited, Focal Point Gallery & partners, Lincoln Business Improvement Group & partners, Nottingham Contemporary & partners, and Turner Contemporary & partners.
Sarah Maxfield, Area Director, North said: 'The Arts Council's £3 million Cultural Destinations programme is just one of the ways we are working with VisitEngland to develop the relationship between culture and tourism and I'm delighted that there have been four successful applications across the North. The organisations involved have some exciting work lined up with their tourism partners which will increase both local and visiting audiences. I'm looking forward to seeing how the different plans develop and their results in encouraging more people to take part in the many different arts and cultural experiences available across the area.'
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: 'We know our arts, culture and heritage is a huge draw for the millions of international visitors and domestic tourists who choose to holiday in Britain each year. This programme is a fantastic example of the two sectors working even more closely, to ensure the huge variety of cultural and artistic events on offer throughout the length and breadth of the UK encourages even more visitors, boosting economic growth.'