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Borough sets out on its cultural journey


PROMINENT figures from Warrington’s arts and culture sector are to lead an open debate on future opportunities to strengthen the borough’s cultural offer.
Warrington’s Cultural Commission has met for the first time to begin setting the course for the future direction of culture in the borough.
Set up to build on the work already carried out as part of last year’s unsuccessful City of Culture bid and the feedback received, the Commission is made up of leading individuals from arts, culture,
business and the third sector.
A key theme emerging from initial discussions is the importance of children and young people – along with diverse communities in every part of the borough – playing a central role in Warrington’s culture plans.
At the meeting, the borough council’s lead member for culture andpartnerships, Cllr Dan Price, shared feedback from the City of Culture bid, including what had been praised and areas for development.
Warrington’s cultural “desk top review” was also presented, a key document for Warrington’s cultural future, which has been developed to explore international, national and local research into the impacts of investment in culture on people’s health, well-being and lifestyles, the economy and on the identity of the place itself. The desk top review also looks at the cultural assets Warrington currently holds, and considers possibilities for future development.
Commission chairman Adrian Friedli said: “Our initial meeting made clear that Commission members bring a wealth of expertise and passion to enable Warrington’s to harness its creative talent and potential, in order to develop an inspiring and diverse programme that engages with all parts of the borough, and attracts audiences to Warrington as a distinctive and innovative cultural destination.”
Cllr Price said: “Our bid for City of Culture was just the beginning. It laid the foundations for something very special to happen here in Warrington, changing our way of thinking about culture and the arts, and giving us a new energy and focus. We are already seeing real results from our bid, such as bringing the Neighbourhood Weekender to Victoria Park – our biggest festival for more than 20 years. The Cultural Commission will further harness this energy and help us develop a new cultural vision for our borough.
“It’s great news that our discussions are now under way. I’m confident that we can deliver a really exciting cultural vision – one which begins to addresses any gaps we have, builds on our strengths and makes Warrington a place where culture can thrive.”
The Commission aims to review local, national and international evidence and research, seeking input from local stakeholders, recognised specialists and key cultural interest groups.
The Commission will draw conclusions on Warrington’s current cultural position and identify opportunities for improvement. It will provide realistic recommendations to further the town’s ambitions and commission members will, where possible, act as champions for culture and support the development of a meaningful action plan to address the recommendations made.
For more information on the Cultural Commission, visit warrington.gov.uk and type “Cultural Commission” into the search box.


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  1. Given the purported support for WBC’s CoC bid, it is a little surprising that there are reports so far today on the substance and detail of Dan Price’s discussion last night.

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