Creativity Flows through Calderdale

Victoria Theatre crowd

Calderdale’s new cultural strategy provides a roadmap for creative delivery over the next 10 years.

A new cultural strategy, guiding and celebrating the role of culture in Calderdale’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, has now launched.

The pandemic has affected every aspect of life and has hit the cultural sector hard. To support the sector’s recovery and to help it thrive, Calderdale Council, working with CalderdaleCreates has developed a new landmark cultural strategy for the borough.

‘Where Creativity Flows’ outlines an ambitious vision, which aims to provide residents with access to culture on their doorsteps. It details how the Calderdale Council along with its partners will take definitive steps to ensure there are cultural opportunities in every corner of the borough, making Calderdale an international hotspot for culture from 2022 through to 2032.

Although the strategy covers the next 10 years, it also incorporates ambitions for the borough’s planned Year of Culture 2024. As part of Calderdale’s 50th birthday in 2024 the whole year is being dedicated to culture, with a major events programme making the most of Calderdale’s rich cultural heritage.

The strategy looks to build upon the borough’s existing strengths, such as its wealth of heritage assets, cultural venues, artists and amazing landscapes celebrated within West Yorkshire, nationally and beyond. It also provides a framework for growth, based around the following five priorities:

  • A Larger Creative Life – Each and every person has culture and creativity woven into the fabric of their lives, whatever their age, to delight and inspire, happier, healthier lives.
  • Creative Citizens – Every community is empowered to grow and sustain its own cultural capacity bringing to life the unique identity of each place and community.
  • A Resilient Valley – The cultural sector inspires creative and regenerative actions to build a sustainable future.
  • Distinctly Calderdale – Businesses and visitors are attracted by the vibrancy of the cultural offer strong sense of identity and creative possibilities.
  • A Thriving Cultural Scene – The sector, its people and organisations, is invested in so that it flourishes and plays a unique, dynamic and effective role in wider society.

Zohrah Zancudi, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Services, said:

“This is an exciting time for Calderdale. We’re seeing the continued impacts of our attractiveness as a filming location and as a cultural destination – exemplified by the recent, hugely successful Anne Lister birthday celebration festival. We also have some world class artists and organisations, living and working in Calderdale with some iconic built and literary heritage.

“As we approach the eagerly anticipated Year of Culture 2024, we feel this is the perfect time to set out our intentions and ‘Where Creativity Flows’ outlines how we want to develop the cultural landscape over the next ten years.

“Culture is at the heart of our plans for inclusive growth, regeneration and reducing inequalities, all supporting our recovery from the impacts of COVID. Calderdale is uniquely positioned to deliver excellent, creative activity with international reach, yet at the same time produce opportunities in each of our communities that will develop the next generation of creative practitioners.”

The strategy has been developed in partnership with CalderdaleCreates, a network of Calderdale’s arts and heritage organisations, creative businesses and freelance practitioners, some of whom include Northern Broadsides, IOU Theatre, The Piece Hall, Dean Clough, Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Happy Valley Pride, Calderdale Museums and libraries and the Victoria Theatre Halifax.

Kevin Rivett, Chair of CalderdaleCreates partnership, said:

“The development of the ‘Where Creativity Flows’ has been very inclusive, and the process has been one of empowerment for the cultural sector.  The priorities have been shaped based on the real needs of the sector and the communities that they live in and serve.”

The full Cultural Strategy can be accessed at link).  Residents and visitors can also pick up the vibrant yellow printed summary version at their local libraries and cultural organisations across Calderdale.

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