Creating cultural centres outside London

By Jason Jones-Hall, Director of Five10Twelve

Prior to the DCMS announcement of the second round of investments through the Cultural Development Fund, (CDF), the CDF Network presented case studies through the first round CDF projects at Creative UK‘s Creative Coalition Festival 2022.

The Cultural Development Fund aims to give people access to arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement and boost economic growth. The first round of funding announced in 2019 saw the Creative Estuary, Grimsby, Plymouth, Wakefield and Worcester receive a share of £20 million to invest in culture, heritage and the creative industries. The fund helps transform cultural sites which are at the heart of communities.

I was delighted to chair this panel, which comprised of CDF round one project leads, artists and delivery partners from across all five projects, including Colette Bailey who represented Creative Estuary – explored how the CDF investment has helped develop cultural centres and support creative businesses and practitioners outside London. Questions explored, with one-the-ground examples of creative practice, included:

  • What opportunities are there for the creative community to get involved at local level in national initiatives like the Cultural Development Fund?
  • What does this mean for creative practitioners, freelancers and creative SMEs?
  • How has Grimsby prepared the ground and catalysed the emergence of Grimsby as a cultural centre?
  • How has Plymouth leveraged its existing cultural assets across the city and tapped into creative networks to develop new work?
  • What role has culture played in establishing the identity of a place across the Creative Estuary, developing civic pride and supporting new communities?
  • How has Worcester’s cultural programme through CDF created new opportunities for creative businesses, freelancers, new entrants and apprentices?
  • How has Wakefield approached the challenge of levelling up from an active creative community to developing a creative cluster?
  • To what extent have the CDF round one pilot projects learned from each other and how important is this in levelling up the whole country?

Below I share the recording of the session.

Jason Jones-Hall, Director of Five10Twelve

About the Author
Jason is Director of Development at  Five10Twelve. He has extensive experience of creative, cultural and digital-led innovation and regeneration, having worked with and for many of the UK and Europe’s leading agencies, including Arts Council England, Creative England, Creative Europe, Creative Industries Federation, Screen Skills, Nesta and Innovate UK.

As a member of the Board of Trustees for Artswork, Jason is passionate about creative and cultural education and supporting and developing new talent, skills development and creative entrepreneurship.