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Culture in Exeter just gets stronger

Published: 5 November 2019

This summer's Exeter Festival

Culture in Exeter has received a second boost in as many weeks with the city receiving a national designation.

The city is to set up as a Cultural Compact with support from Arts Council England.

The submission, led by Exeter Culture and Exeter City Council, will put the value and importance of the arts at the centre of future development plans for the city.

Exeter will become one of the first cities in the country to take this approach, set up in response to the Cultural Cities Enquiry report 2019.

Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Climate and Culture, said: “This is great news coming just days after the city was awarded UNESCO City of Literature status.

“Improving the quality of life for Exeter's citizens, workers and visitors is central to our ambition for the city and we believe that culture plays a vital role in delivering this.”

The compact will operate as part of the cross discipline Liveable Exeter Garden City advisory board to assist with the delivery of the new Cultural Strategy.

Dom Jinks, Director of Exeter Culture, said: “This further places culture as a priority at the heart of Exeter. This aligns well with the new cultural strategy and will ensure that Exeter continues to develop its cultural offer for the people who live, work and visit the city.”

One of the key aims is that Exeter will become known nationally and internationally as a city of culture. As a unique partnership with the public and private sector, the board will weave cultural growth into high level planning and resource delivery around everyday issues facing Exeter including: housing delivery, active travel, clean growth, inclusive growth and carbon neutral development.

Sarah Crown, Arts Council England’s Literature director, will sit on the advisory board. She said: “News last week of Exeter becoming a UNESCO City of Literature was absolutely fantastic and is testament to the exemplary partnership working in the city.

“Arts Council England is the development body for arts and culture, and it’s with that in mind that we are pleased to have supported the development of the UNESCO bid, along with the development of the city’s new cultural strategy.

“Cultural Compacts were set up to bring a range of stakeholders together in order to achieve step-change in local cultural development, and I’m delighted to be sitting on the advisory board. This is a really exciting time for Exeter.”

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