Winchester: Cultural Capital

Press Release: 03/03/2014

Councillor Rob Humby, Winchester Cultural Conference

Over 120 delegates from the cultural and creative industries in the Winchester District attended a conference today (Friday 28 February) at the Middle Brook Centre in Winchester city centre.

The conference, which was organised by Winchester City Council, was to launch the Council’s new strategy: Culture, Innovation and the Winchester Economy. The strategy aims to realise Winchester’s ambition to be a vibrant centre for contemporary culture and creative enterprise in the UK, whilst consolidating the District’s reputation as a world-class heritage destination.

The conference was chaired by Cllr Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council. In his welcoming speech Cllr Humby said:

I am pleased to announce that a new leadership group is being created to deliver the new strategy – a partnership between Winchester City Council, the University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art and the University of Winchester. The two universities are cultural powerhouses in the District, and I am delighted to have them both represented here today at a senior level, sharing a stage and sharing a commitment to delivering the new Strategy in partnership with us.

Pippa Warin, from the Arts Council England, also made a keynote address looking at the national and the regional picture. This was followed by responses to the strategy from local practitioners and culture providers including Mark Courtice, Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Winchester, and Emily Tyers, Director of Etre, whose website, Umbrella, connects and promotes the creative and artistic people living, working and studying in or near Winchester.

Local practitioners and organisations then gave their contributions to an action plan driving forward culture and innovation in the Winchester economy over the coming years.

Cllr Humby added:

The challenge for us now is harnessing the energy and creativity in the Winchester District to put Winchester on a world stage.

The conference presentations and the new Cultural Strategy for the Winchester District 2014 to 2018 can be downloaded here