Culture and regeneration

Sandra Giorgetti

Sixteen projects are being piloted under the Great Place Scheme which aims to embed culture in regeneration.

The social and financial cost to communities and the arts of regeneration is a hot topic and the Great Place Scheme is a proposal in the Government’s Culture White Paper to address it.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said, "strong local heritage and culture brings real benefits to communities. It can boost investment, attract tourists and make areas better places to live and work.

"As set out in the Culture White Paper, this Great Place Scheme, funded by National Lottery players, will help areas across the country put culture at the heart of communities and celebrate their unique history, architecture and landscapes."

The pilot Great Place Scheme wants to enable civic organisations, businesses and communities to invest in culture.

Its other key aim is to ensure that funding from, for example, Arts Council England, has the maximum positive impact on jobs, economic performance, educational attainment, community cohesion and health and wellbeing.

There are those who will question whether this sounds like arts funding will be judged first and foremost on remunerative criteria and not, for example, on need.

£20m of National Lottery and Arts Council England money is going into the Scheme which will look at:

  • new ways to include arts and heritage in the provision of local education or health services
  • the contribution made by arts and heritage to local economies
  • funding for people working in arts and heritage to build networks and increase their skills
  • new ways of financing cultural organisations
  • local strategies that maximise the community benefit that local arts and heritage can deliver.

The Great Place Scheme is expected to reach Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during the year.