New cultural strategy launched for East Devon

The new strategy aims to strengthen, promote and grow arts and culture in East Devon, offering high quality creative opportunities, accessible to people of all ages, in all communities.

Dan Wilkins www.exmouthjournal.co.uk

Over the last four months, people, places, organisations and activities have been mapped revealing what is already happening across East Devon and how it is currently funded.

The public were consulted by East Devon District Council (EDDC) widely, through interviews, workshops and a public survey which received nearly 500 responses.

Around 98 per cent of survey respondents thought it was important that East Devon had a strong cultural offer and 61 per cent confirmed that a lack of local provision was a big barrier to taking part in culture in East Devon.

There are eight core themes to the strategy. Key themes include strengthening and supporting community-led culture organisations to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing in East Devon’s towns and villages, protecting and enhancing the environment, growing cultural tourism alongside the new Tourism Strategy, as well as supporting new places of culture to ensure East Devon residents, especially children and young people, can experience high quality culture in their local areas.

Cllr Nick Hookway, portfolio holder for culture and tourism, said: “The Culture Strategy has identified the extraordinary range of cultural activities that take place across East Devon.

“Such activities not only help to define our district, they also help it to cope with the challenges of living in the 21st Century.  

“I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped to inform and shape this strategy.

“I am delighted that we have an ambitious and practical framework for culture and look forward to working with many local residents and organisations to shape an exciting, creative future for East Devon.”

The Council’s priority is now to start implementing the strategy by putting in place partnerships and resources to achieve these cultural ambitions.

This includes the appointment of a Cultural Producer, who will be a linchpin for coordination, communications, advocacy and fundraising .

They will also lead the ACED (Arts and Culture East Devon) network which will be a vital engine for driving the strategy and all the opportunities it can bring.

Read the full East Devon Cultural Strategy. It is also available to view at eastdevon.gov.uk/arts-and-culture.

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