The Board was presented with an update on the preparations being made to deliver Halton’s Borough of Culture (BoC) year in 2021.
It was reported that the award of Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture was inspired by the UK City of Culture Programme, which followed Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture in 2008. The new initiative was launched in 2018 as Liverpool celebrated its 10th Anniversary as the UK’s only European Capital of Culture.
The Borough of Culture initiative was a non-competitive process, which rotates around the City Region with the aim of encouraging each Borough to develop collaboratively its local talent and potential, whilst reflecting the ambitions and aims of the Regional Culture and Creativity Strategy, which looked to build sustainable capacity across the City Region.
The progress made so far was outlined to Members, which included the emerging programme of activities and also described the potential risks and challenges that could be faced, in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Members welcomed the presentation and progress made to date with the programme of activities and events. They made the following comments / suggestions:
· The opportunity to explore and highlight the ‘climate emergency’ should not be missed during this year;
· Public art could be displayed in each Borough as well as in a central point;
· There was no reference to the written or spoken word – it would be an opportunity to include schools with a poetry writing competition for example;
· Councillors should be encouraged to participate, particularly those with musical or artistic talents;
· Providing transport for people to cross the bridges would help encourage participation from all communities;
· The immigrant community should be invited to showcase their cultures in some form;
· A mascot would help promote the BoC year as it would be easily recognisable and they could be placed in different locations in the Borough; and
· The BoC could be advertised outside of the area, which could attract more investment in the Programme.
In response to some comments, Officers advised that the BoC could be used as a toolkit from an inward investment perspective to get businesses involved in celebrating part of history and encouraging them to contribute any artefacts they may have. Although businesses had not been approached yet, due to the Coronavirus complications, this task would be revisited when some improvement in the situation was made. It was also commented that Halton would be producing a booklet to be used to advertise the BoC.
Members were invited to submit any further suggestions they may have to Chris Patino. The Chair requested an update on the BoC for the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the update and Members comments and suggestions be received.