A plan to make Preston recognised as a cultural centre in Lancashire by 2018 has been released.
The draft proposal of the Cultural Framework for Preston, commissioned by Preston City Council, outlines how the arts community will be supported over the next five years.
The city council states it wants to build on the buzz of the Guild in 2012, the diversity of the University and support events such as the Preston Tringe.
Councillor Tom Burns, who has responsibility for culture in the city, said Preston must build on the Guild.
He said: “Last year’s Preston Guild demonstrated the range of benefits that arts and culture can contribute to the city. In a remarkable year of celebrations, culminating in the Guild itself in September, Preston showed just how creative it can be.
“The professional and voluntary arts sector worked together to put on a festival which both showcased the local creative sector and attracted world class talent. The Guild provided opportunities for people to actively participate in cultural activities.
“The evaluation of the Guild concluded that ‘Preston was shown as a great place to live, learn and work’ and that it inspired a sense of community and cohesion. But the Guild was not only good for local people – just over half of the visitors to Guild events were from outside Preston and over 14% were from beyond Lancashire. The economic benefits for the city were considerable.”
Cultural events which the council say will be a step towards positioning Preston as a cultural hub include the upcoming Harris Flights, an events programme of summer and winter festivals and the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Preston in 2015.
Whether the council will invest in additional staffing to support the arts remains to be seen. The Harris Museum lost 10 staff in summer 2012 and the push from central government has been to encourage private enterprise in the arts and philanthropy to fund projects.
The full consultation document is available to view below.
Cultural Framework for Preston – Preston City Council
Any comments are invited by email to Alex Walker, head of Arts and Heritage at the city council, on firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments need to be made by Friday 16 August.
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