Privacy settings

Winchester District Cultural Strategy

Throughout 2023, Winchester City Council officers have been leading the development of a new Winchester District Cultural Strategy.

The new cultural strategy, which sets out a shared vision for the cultural development of the Winchester district until 2030, was written by the city council and co-designed by a range of cultural organisations. It aims to document the district’s cultural offer and its benefits, encourage and facilitate collaborative work, and serve as a lever to attract investment. The strategy was developed and will be delivered in partnership and intends to empower organisations, communities and individuals to create their own cultural and creative activity. 


Our vision for Winchester district in 2030:

Winchester District’s creative dynamism enriches lives and makes amazing things happen.


Priorities - The document sets out four priority areas: 

Education & Young People

Some young people will not have the opportunity to engage with culture through their everyday lives or, increasingly, mainstream education. 30% of Winchester residents are under 25 and therefore represent a large proportion of our population. We recognise that cultural education is enriching beyond the activity itself, improving confidence, coordination, organisation, teamwork and wellbeing.


Culture and heritage can be transformational for a place, offering spaces and opportunities for communities to come together. There is an opportunity to use the place as a canvas and allow culture to grow from the community. The opportunity to celebrate and bring to the fore the uniqueness of Winchester, “where the past and present collide”. 88% of residents surveyed thought creative and cultural activities help make the Winchester district a better place in which to live, work, visit and play.

Economy & Creative Industries

The creative industries play a crucial role in the economy of Winchester, contributing £283m (GVA) in 2019 and employing almost 5,000 people in 2021. The creative industries harness imagination, entrepreneurship and innovation, generating growth even in difficult times. The workforce is bolstered by both universities and our proximity to London. The workforce is projected to grow by a further 7.5% between 2021 and 2032. 92% of residents surveyed thought we should support and encourage the creative industries.

Events & Festivals

Events and Festivals are a platform to explore culture and community in a diverse and inclusive way. Winchester district hosts approximately 30 mid to large scale events and festivals each year celebrating a wide range of genres such as: outdoor arts, heritage, theatre, food and drink, poetry, books, fashion, and sports. Opportunities for people to come together and share experiences help build a sense of community and civic pride. 87% of residents surveyed thought we should use creative and cultural activity to bring people together.


Themes - Three themes underpin the strategy:

Inclusion and Diversity

Increased diversity and inclusion broadens perspectives, introduces new ideas, bolsters creativity and supports people who may otherwise be underrepresented. Winchester is predominantly white (88%), in very good health (53%), physically able (84%) and heterosexual (90%). The cultural workforce and programming generally reflect this traditional demographic and sustained effort to review hiring and programming practices is required to bring about change. 77% of residents surveyed said cultural and creative activities help them feel part of the community.

Environmental Responsibility

Climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges we face today. A thriving natural environment underpins a healthy, prosperous society but nature is in long term decline. The cultural sector inspires people to explore the great outdoors and uses nature to inspire great works of art. We believe in safeguarding our environment. We will review our practices and policies and ensure we are taking the measures needed to reduce our impact.

Health and Wellbeing

The positive role culture and creativity can play an individual’s health and wellbeing is undeniable. This was never more evident than during the Covid-19 pandemic, people turned to creativity to maintain and improve their mental wellbeing. We believe access to cultural and creative activity will lead to happier and healthier people. 87% of residents surveyed thought cultural and creative activities contribute to Winchester district residents’ wellbeing.


The strategy is available to download from the right-hand side of this page and highlights the distinctiveness of Winchester district’s cultural offer as well as more detail on the above themes and priorities, our vision and values and action plans.

If you are interested in joining a working group or supporting the delivery of the Cultural Strategy in any way, please contact Winchester City Council’s Culture and Creative Sector Development Officer, Emalene Hickman:


Alongside a stakeholder group, over 100 individuals working within or alongside the cultural sector have helped inform the strategy, and over 500 residents have contributed their thoughts on what culture and creativity mean to them. Extensive desk research was also conducted, including demographics and audience profiles of Winchester district, asset mapping and benchmarking exercises – please see the ‘Evidence Base’ on the right-hand side for more information.

Winchester City Council logo

Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Some of these cookies are necessary to make the site work. We’d also like to use optional cookies to help improve your experience on the site. You can manage your optional cookie preferences below. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences. Your preferences can be changed at any time.

Review your privacy settings