Report of the Group Director of Services
The Group Director of Services submitted a report (previously circulated) requesting that Members provide comments on the draft Darlington Cultural Strategy 2022-2026 (also previously circulated) to pass to Cabinet for consideration at the meeting on 8 March 2022.
It was reported that the Darlington Cultural Strategy 2022-2026 was focused on maximizing the social and economical benefits which culture can bring to people across Darlington; that the strategy would assist the Council in developing and allocating resources to address priorities; and the strategy had been informed by research, discussion with Arts Council England and Tees Valley Combined Authority and comments from partners.
The strategy took note of the vision and drivers of national strategies and the priorities of the Tees Valley Combined Authority; reference was made to the definition of Culture being used for the strategy and the areas covered; and the strategy would help in communicating the cultural vision and priorities for cultural investment in Darlington.
Reference was made to the building and place-based cultural assets; the investment secured for and achievements made in respect of the cultural offer over the last decade; and the strategy would support the Council in delivering its vision and priorities. Details were provided of the proposed vision for the strategy; reference was made to five draft priorities within the strategy; and action plans had been developed to address each priority which would be reviewed and updated annually.
Discussion ensued regarding the planned celebrations for the bicentenary of the 1825 passenger journey on the Stockton and Darlington Railway; concerns relating to the access to the Rail Heritage Quarter; and Members highlighted the lack of reference to diversity and minority groups within the strategy.
RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received.
(b) That be Cabinet be advised of this Scrutiny’s view that references to diversity and minority groups be strengthened within the strategy.