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Leading national culture organisations commit to Cornwall’s culture, arts and heritage

A recognition of the importance to residents and businesses of Cornish culture, heritage and the arts has been reinforced today as major investors in culture sign a commitment to work closely together to promote Cornwall’s distinct identity.

Representatives from Cornwall Council, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England have today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding.

The first of its kind in the UK, it is a commitment that all will work together so that Cornwall Council, which has through its Culture Investment Board so far secured over £110 million of investment into Cornwall’s culture and heritage, can continue, with partners, to support and promote Cornwall’s cultural distinctiveness.

Support for projects like

  • The Man Engine, striding the country to celebrate Cornwall’s mining heritage;
  • Kresen Kernow bringing together the world’s largest collection of records, books, maps, plans and photographs related to Cornwall and protecting them for future generations;
  • FEAST, which commissions projects to reach all communities in market and coastal towns, rural villages and hamlets alike and “Make great art happen across Cornwall”;
  • Regeneration and relaunch of arts venues like the Hall for Cornwall and Tate St Ives. 

As part of the Devolution Deal Cornwall Council secured in 2015, the Council made a commitment to protect Cornwall’s culture and heritage through the formation of the Heritage Kernow Executive Board. Work now continues through New Frontiers to ensure our culture distinctiveness is recognised, strengthened and celebrated through the creation of a Cornish public service broadcaster and a request for funding to promote and develop our language and cultural assets.

Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for economy and planning said: “Cornwall’s culture, arts and heritage is important to many residents as they help give us a real sense of place and community.  They support our economy and make us distinctive, not just in the UK but globally.

By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, each partner is committing to work together to continue to encourage and support Cornwall’s arts and cultural economy and develop new, sustainable ways to support the growth of our creative industries. 

Examples include the £2m LEP funded business hub as part of the new Hall for Cornwall to act as a hotbed for creative and digital organisations and businesses, and Krowji Phase 2 in Redruth, which will see the construction of new purpose built workspace to complement Krowji, the largest creative cluster west of Bristol with tenants from right across the creative sector.

Bob Egerton adds:  “We need to build on the government’s recognition of national minority status for the Cornish, the Cornish language and Cornish cultural distinctiveness so that we can encourage pride and confidence in communities across Cornwall.

“There is already an excellent relationship that has been built up through the Council’s Culture Investment Board with Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England and the CIOS LEP who have made ‘creativity’ one their 10 Opportunities pitch to Government and business.  By working more collaboratively, we can harness our collective resources to make a difference and deliver for the residents of Cornwall.”

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England said: “Cornwall has a very special cultural identity, as well as an abundance of cultural riches.  It’s an important place for us at Arts Council England and we’re proud of our track record of investment and partnership working in the county.  This shared commitment to the importance and value of culture and creativity will help us continue to make a major contribution to the placemaking agenda in Cornwall’s towns and rural communities.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “Heritage and Culture is at the heart of identity and what makes a place special. From our spectacular coastline and countryside, to our industrial heritage, archives and museums, our heritage tells an important story and has a huge impact on people and the economy. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are incredibly proud to have invested over £115 million in more than 700 projects across Cornwall, a significant sum, and one that reflects Cornwall’s important heritage as well as the pride that Cornish people rightly feel in their history and heritage. We have worked closely with our partners in Cornwall over many years, collaborating to ensure investment is targeted in the right place and works hard for the people of Cornwall, and we look forward to working even more closely together in the future, recognising the critical role heritage and culture has to play in Cornwall’s future.”

Glenn Caplin, Chief Executive of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP said: “Our creative sector is a huge cultural and economic asset that is growing at twice the rate of the UK economy. From international exports like Kneehigh theatre and venues like The Exchange in Newlyn, to cutting edge creative tech businesses like Triangular Pixels, named as BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, and Creative England Top 50 company Engine House Media, we have a rich and diverse creative economy rooted in a distinctive sense of place. We warmly welcome this partnership and the signal it sends about the value we place on culture and creativity.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “Cornwall’s historic environment inspires passion, from distinctive buildings such as Landewednack Windmill, The Lizard, which came off our Heritage at Risk Register in 2016 to Harvey’s Foundry at Hayle, it makes communities proud and brings visitors from around the world. This precious heritage enriches lives, brings people together and supports growth and prosperity. We are proud to have worked with partners across Cornwall for many years to help make this happen. We are delighted to commit our skills and resources to this important partnership for Cornwall.”

Following the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at the Hall For Cornwall, partners were taken on a tour of the building by HFC’s Chief Executive and Creative Director Julien Boast. The theatre is currently closed for a major transformation project and Julien Boast welcomed the opportunity to outline the Hall’s exciting plans for the future.  “We want to build for Cornwall’s cultural future by providing a new type of theatre that is open to all and where all sorts of people can come together to enjoy themselves. This is a very exciting time for HFC and for Cornwall and we are delighted to have the opportunity to host this historic event”. 

Page last updated: 09:11, 14th February 2019
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