The Cultural & Visitor Development Director to be heard.
The Board received a presentation from the Cultural & Visitor Development Director concerning the Recovery Taskforce and the following comments were made:
· Members were informed that the Recovery Taskforce was not yet at a stage to launch a report, but had significant cross over with the Culture and Commerce Taskforce and acted as the third leg of the City Corporation’s recovery response to the pandemic looking at the Square Mile’s success in the medium term.
· The vision is to ensure the Square Mile is the most innovative, inclusive and sustainable business system and an attractive place to invest, work, live and visit. This is based on work that was already underway and incorporates a number of strategies (e.g. Climate Action, Transport Strategy, London Recharge) focusing on three dimensions: world class business ecosystem, outstanding environments and vibrant offer. This has multi cross-cutting working and themes, and ensures silos are avoided. The plan will go to P&R on 8 April for approval.
· Members were informed that the situation concerning the vibrant offer was changing daily, but findings indicated that work patterns would never be the same and the City needed to understand 1) how it would adjust to the new work pattern and 2) how to address quieter and longer weekends. Incentivising business, workers and leisure visitors back into the City as part of an ecosystem was key to recovery and the survival of retail and hospitality sector. It was noted that inclusion work underpinned all work.
· The Chair felt it was important for Members to understand the context of what was happening in the City and the Board were supportive as the barbican was a supportive partner within the recovery plans.
· A Member saw this as a real opportunity for the Barbican to be used not just as a for the presentation and participation of culture, but as a creative space to offer to creatives and businesses in the heart of London. The opportunity to use creative individuals and their activities as a galvanising factor for recovery was felt to be exciting, especially for the Barbican offer and spaces.
· A Member felt that residents and people living surrounding the City should be used a “champions” of the new City cultural offer. It was confirmed that there was ongoing engagement with the local community including a survey and it was hoped residents would act as ambassadors and consumers. It was felt recovery would begin locally and radiate out.