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City Arts Programme - request for continuance of funding

Report of the Assistant Town Clerk/Culture Mile Director.


The Committee received a report of the Assistant Town Clerk and Culture Mile Director concerning a request for continued funding for the City Outdoor Arts Programme for a further five years after the current funding agreement ends (2020/2021).


Future proposed programmes include Migration (2020), a celebration of the City’s diverse communities; A Thing of Beauty (2021), focusing on Keats; Celebrate the City Too (2022) to celebrate creativity and innovation in the City; Dome to Dome (2023) and Poets and Hacks (2024) (as noted in Item 11).


During the discussion on this report, the following points were noted:


·         A Member was pleased to see the focus on women and diverse histories such as Black History Month being addressed in the arts programming, suggesting also that the positive elements of diversity that have existed for centuries should also be highlighted.


·         In response to a Member’s question, the Cultural and Visitor Development Director advised that some events, such as Pearly Kings and Queens and Cart Marking, cannot accommodate larger crowds because of the limitations of the Guildhall Yard or the event’s overall footprint. It is therefore not possible to promote these events widely for health and safety reasons, as well as to save potential disappointment for audiences who may try to access them unsuccessfully. In response to a second part to this Member’s question, the Director advised that the self-guided walks leaflets produced by the Visitor Development Team would continue but that, with budgetary constraints, it may be necessary to prioritise which walks are continued (based on their popularity).


·         A Member suggested making more use of Leadenhall Market as it is covered and dry. Another Member shared a similar idea, suggesting linking properties to people/ groups and milestone dates to engage the public with City buildings.


·         The Director advised that the team is currently assessing how Leadenhall Market might be animated further, noting that events need to work around weddings and other major occasions which are regularly hosted by businesses in the Market.


RESOLVED – That the Committee,

a)    approve a further five years funding of the City Outdoor Arts Programme from 2020/2021 (when the current funding arrangement ends) to 2024/25 inclusive, noting the current annual budget (2018/19) is £376,000;

b)     invite officers to bid for another five-year term of funding after three years of the new term (2022/23), to enable future planning and the ability to secure opportunities as they arise.


Supporting documents:


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