Wakefield Cultural Consortium, consisting of 16 local organisations including Theatre Royal Wakefield, has been awarded £223,000 from Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations initiative for a three year programme to enhance local cultural offerings and encourage visitors to Wakefield.
Wakefield has a unique heritage and a growing cultural offer – from festivals to cutting edge contemporary art – and as a result is one of 16 successful Cultural Destinations applicants. Led by Beam, the consortium will see local arts and cultural venues team up with tourism businesses and the wider business sector to promote Wakefield as one of Yorkshire's leading cultural destinations. Together they will ensure culture is part of Wakefield's ambitions for economic growth, jobs and improved skills.
Partners in the Wakefield Cultural Consortium are: Beam, National Coal Mining Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Nostell, Wakefield Council, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Wakefield College, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield Bondholder Scheme, Cognitiv, Wakefield Arts Partnership, The Art House, Faceless Arts, One to One Development, Unity Works and Xscape.
Jenny Layfield, Wakefield Cultural Consortium, said: “We are so pleased to have been successful in our bid for Cultural Destinations funding. Wakefield is only two hours from London and punches well above its weight in relation to cultural and tourist attractions, the support of the Arts Council will enable us to start a proactive conversation with our regional and national audiences and ensure that Wakefield builds on its strengths and expands its visitor economy.”
Sarah Maxfield, North Area Director, Arts Council England said: “This is fantastic news for the North. This investment will capitalise on the rich variety of arts and culture on offer here – positioning places as diverse as the rural Lake District, the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, and cities such as Sheffield and Manchester as leading cultural destinations. Over the coming years we hope to see these ambitious projects encouraging growth in the local visitor economy, and attracting more people from across the country – and indeed the world – to these great places.”
Cultural Destinations is an initiative that was developed by the Arts Council as a result of a three-year partnership with VisitEngland, the national tourist board. The programme aims to increase the reach of those experiencing arts and culture, the sustainability of cultural organisations in local destinations, and to encourage the public and private sector to work together to support the growth of the local visitor economy.