A Cultural Future for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Posted on Wednesday 19th February 2020
A free public conference is to be staged at Lighthouse Poole on 23 March to discuss the recommendations of a recent Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Cultural Enquiry.

The enquiry was commissioned by a coalition of organisations, including BCP Council, Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth University, the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Lighthouse Poole, and supported by Arts Council England.

Several public meetings were held last year as part of the enquiry, which has recognised the high quality of arts and culture provision and participation in the three towns, but highlighted the need for greater connectivity between cultural offerings, more support for talent development, and improved cultural infrastructure and planning. The final report, which resulted from the year-long Cultural Enquiry, also proposes that improved cross-sector working can enable arts and culture to improve the quality of life and well-being locally, as well as reinforcing the cultural identity of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and encouraging cultural tourism.

Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Chair of the Cultural Enquiry said: “The purpose of the Enquiry was to look at the role culture plays in people’s lives and to contribute to a longer-term cultural vision for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.  We hope that the findings will also feed into BCP Council’s strategies around placemaking, economic investment, health and wellbeing.”

Following the conference, a Cultural Collective will be set up, bringing together a range of organisations to develop a plan to carry out the recommendations.

Cllr Mark Howell, BCP Council Cabinet Member for Culture said: “The conference is a further opportunity for local people to shape the emerging Cultural Collective. The Collective will help us deliver a step change in the local cultural scene by encouraging collaboration and investment.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the conference and contribute their views, and there will also be a series of free workshops, with limited places available.

Booking is essential online at bcpculturalcollective.co.uk/conference

For those unable to attend the conference, a livestream of the morning speakers and afternoon wrap-up sessions, and a post-conference video of the same sessions will be available on the website. Online surveys on the four workshop topics and on the creation of a long-term cultural vision for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are also available for people to feedback their views.