Simon Walters (Director for Communities and Environment) introduced the item with an overview and background on the purpose of the discussion which was to receive an update on the creation of a cultural consortium following a successful award of funding to the University of Lincoln.
During consideration of the presentation, the following points were noted:
The Chair thanked Simon for his hard work, informative presentation and welcomed comments and questions from the Committee. As a result of the discussions between Members, the following points were made:
Question: Had the UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) bid for funding for the Barbican been successful?
Response: The UKSPF fund was significantly oversubscribed and the bid for funding for a bespoke outdoor space for young people had not been successful within the first wave of funding. It was hoped that the bid would be considered within future waves of funding.
Question: How was involvement from local artists secured?
Response: Local artists involvement was secured through Mash Up!! Which was extending its reach regularly. In addition, though Toby Ealden, Zest Theatre who had connections within local culture. Partnerships played a key role in increasing reach as part of a cultural compact.
Question: Was a bid for ‘City of Culture’ still a consideration?
Response: A bid for ‘City of Culture’ could be further considered within the Council’s new strategic plan, Vision 2030. However, the level of investment required to secure the status of ‘City of Culture’ was estimated to be approximately £20M, which was currently beyond the Council’s resources. It may be useful to consider a countywide approach that focussed on a collective area. It appeared, from previous conversations that whilst there was an appetite to work collaboratively on arts and culture, a bid for UK City of culture was not a key focus for many neighbouring areas at present.
Comment: Members were pleased to learn of events south of the railway line and the consideration that had been given to the historic heritage of the City further to the Guildhall and the Cathedral.
Question: Lincoln’s famous Christmas Market was cancelled due to safety concerns. Within the budget, was there plans for Christmas events?
Response: The budget agreed by the Executive mandated consideration of events spread across the whole year to enable everybody to benefit. Information and further details would emerge in the near future with regard to a sizable offering for Christmas 2023 and for the full year. The engagement exercise was extensive and events that would fall within 2023 had been arranged. Work would soon begin on events for 2024.
Comment: Other areas around the country such as Sheffield and Manchester were very good at nurturing and retaining their own talent.
Response: Lincoln missed a forum to bring cultural offerings together. The cultural compact would come in later in the year to bring together local talent.
Question: Would Christmas Lights be installed between Tentercroft Street and the Railway line? There was an opportunity to make the area a cultural space for pop up events.
Response: There would be Christmas lights installed in the area. The use of the space for pop up events became difficult as there was no power and nothing to feed off of within the area. The mechanics of it for events were difficult. The Cornhill area had pop up power points. The contract awarded for the Christmas lights had been to a local supplier – a new Christmas lights provider that would install and take down the lights. We have been provided with a design for the lower high street however the caveat was that power needed to be sourced. Lincoln County Council had been amenable with helping.
The Chair gave thanks to Simon Walters for the information provided and for the work carried out for residents within the City.
RESOLVED that: -