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Arts and culture forum in the frame to aid Covid recovery

Published on 23 February 2021

High Peak has long been associated with the arts and culture and the Borough Council and CVS have launched a joint survey aimed at safeguarding the future of local groups, venues and events post-Covid.

The Council is developing an Arts and Cultural Heritage Strategy to maximise the key role artistic and cultural events play in supporting the vibrancy of the Borough and its local economy.

Amongst the possible options is the idea of establishing a High Peak-wide Arts and Culture Forum open to any interested group.

But, like all other sectors, arts and cultural has been hugely impacted by the measures put in place to control Covid over the last year which has seen venues closed and events cancelled.

So, to measure the impact on groups and venues and to assess the support they might need, the Council and CVS, both keen supporters of the sector, have launched a joint survey.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure, said: "High Peak has a history steeped in culture and a long-established, rich tradition in the arts and culture.

"It's one of our strengths with the varied and exciting programme of events and activities attracting visitors from far and wide. So it's easy to see why we want to really celebrate these central aspects of our local identity by developing a local strategy.

"The groups, events and venues that we have in the High Peak are the people and places that will bring these co-designed plans to life and provide the creativity and colour needed to ensure success. That's why we're working cooperatively with them now to better understand their needs and I appeal to those that haven't yet completed the survey to do so."

So far, more than 20 responses to the survey have been received.

Councillor Keith Savage, Member Champion for the Arts at the Council, said: "Both the Council and the CVS already support many of the Borough's cultural and artistic activities and we are really keen to work in partnership with more community organisations.

"One of the things we want to explore is the potential for an Arts and Culture Forum to help groups grow and thrive and emerge stronger from the last year.

"We've had a great response to the survey already and I'd like to thank all those who have completed it - it's a very encouraging sign that our appetite for the arts is still strong.

"I would also encourage those that have yet to get in touch to do so - your responses will really help us to identify the actions we need to take to safeguard our precious arts and cultural resources for the benefit of everyone."

The survey is available via the High Peak CVS website and the deadline for responses in the end of the month.