The Culture Mile Manager to be heard.
Members received a presentation concerning the future of Culture Mile 2021-23 and the following points were made:
· The Culture Mile Manager updated Members on plans to support communities and recovery post-Covid through a cultural revitalisation. It was hoped that hyper local work that was already taking place could be capitalised on. A number of opportunities between Culture Mile and the Barbican were explored including transformation of the area through public realm branding across the district, support for local creatives and businesses, collaboration on learning, funding and research opportunities, and sharing learning, expertise and contacts.
· The five thematic areas of focus were a mixed economy model, creative livelihoods, creative spaces, creative communities and a skills-building agenda. It was hoped that civic, cultural and commercial sectors could be brought together through a mixed economy model to make the City an attractive destination for culture and commerce.
· It was noted that Culture Mile was working to access those without access to digital.
· Members were impressed with the high level of activity and supported Culture Mile’s plans to recover culture in the City during and post Covid.
· In response to a query regarding exploring ideas to bring activity to the Beech Street tunnel and the Barbican’s Exhibition Halls, Members were advised that Covid had made the role of local residents and businesses more influential in developing local projects and it was hoped that local input would help develop the vision for Beech Street. Funding for these ideas would be requested next year.
· It was noted that the Barbican Area Advisory Group worked to understand the different components of the area in terms of its story, transportation and projects.
· A Member commended the work of the Culture Mile noting that it was acknowledged at the Lord Mayor’s Taskforce meeting that creative thinking would not only enhance culture and society but assist with the recovery of commerce. The Member saw this as a great opportunity to lead these big debates.
· The Taskforce was considered well placed for overarching coordination across the City Corporation and the Barbican, GSMD and Museum of London were leading the debates regarding culture in partnership. The Barbican and Smithfield were recognised as key areas in the City for community engagement and hoped they could lead on plans to implement a business improvement model.
· It was noted that businesses were unlikely to prioritise grass roots projects in the current climate so alternative opportunities for resources were being considered.
· A Member stated that the BBC and Channel 4 were heavily involved in the diversity sector and wondered if there was an opportunity to work with them.
· With regards to developing new and existing contacts, a Member felt that Members should act as ambassadors for culture and bring people into the City.
· I response to a query concerning attracting diverse audiences, the Culture Mile Manager confirmed that Culture Mile had done well in achieving diverse audiences to date and hoped to build on this to develop a diverse district.