The LGA has responded to the Cultural Cities Enquiry launched by Arts Council England and the Core Cities
Creative industries contributed nearly £90 billion and 2.9 million jobs to the UK economy in 2015, but the enquiry rightly recognises the positive impact of culture extends beyond growth to improve community cohesion, public health and tourism.
The funding landscape for culture is changing, and cities are well-placed to explore new mechanisms for investment in these crucial community-building and economy-driving assets and services.
A clear vision and plan for the future of cultural services and industries, in the broadest sense, needs to be in place if investors are to be convinced to commit their funding. Arts and culture should not be regarded as an add-on, but as a driver of growth.
Councils needs to be ensuring that all their in-house commissioning is considering cultural options as a way of delivering, whether that is through public health budgets or less obvious services, such as Kent’s waste services contract. By deploying council funding and investment strategically, councils can leverage in significant funding from external investors.