The importance of culture in Calderdale’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic is being discussed by the Council’s Cabinet.
An ambitious and far-reaching draft cultural strategy will be presented to the Cabinet at their meeting on Monday 4 October. It has been developed to harness the power of the borough’s unique culture and heritage and to revitalise town centres and rebuild the local economy following COVID.
The strategy sets out ambitions for the next 10 years. The first milestone would be the Year of Culture – a major events programme which would take place in 2024 to celebrate the borough’s 50th birthday, in line with the Vision2024 for Calderdale.
It also looks to identify cultural opportunities to align with Council priorities, including innovative and creative solutions to shared challenges, such as rebuilding after COVID-19, meeting the needs of communities across the borough, and tackling the Climate Emergency.
This draft Cultural Strategy articulates Calderdale’s cultural ambition for the wider place, with the borough’s wealth of heritage assets, cultural venues, artists and amazing landscapes celebrated within West Yorkshire, nationally and beyond.
The strategy looks to build upon these existing strengths and provide a framework to enable growth in the sector, also ensuring that all communities can engage and benefit.
Local people are at the heart of the borough’s recovery, so the strategy has been developed with extensive consultation with communities, as well as cultural sector partners and the wider hospitality and tourism sector.
Although there is no legal requirement for the Council to adopt a Cultural Strategy, it is a clear statement of intent of the role that culture will play in the borough’s Inclusive Economic Recovery. The strategy will also enable the sector to attract investment, supporting it to thrive and flourish.
If approved by Cabinet, the draft strategy would be the subject of wider public consultation before being considered by Cabinet for recommendation to Council by the end of this year.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:
“Calderdale’s creative cultural offer is one of the things that make the borough so distinctive. Although the pandemic has been one of the toughest times in the sector’s history, we want to harness opportunities going forward and create a successful future for the sector and the wider borough.
“The draft Cultural Strategy is not just a Council response, it’s about Calderdale as a whole and its potential as a place to be a regional leader in cultural opportunities and activities.
“By having a clear framework in place, it creates a solid foundation for growth. We want to amplify the success of existing successful attractions, such as the Piece Hall and Shibden Hall, and identify new opportunities for all our communities to embrace culture, which in turn will support the borough’s recovery.”
The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision
The draft Cultural Strategy report will be considered at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 4 October at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm. The meeting will also be streamed online at https://calderdale.public-i.tv/core/portal/home(external link).