New cultural strategy for Peterborough aims to make city popular tourist destination

A new cultural startegy for Peterborough has been created, with the aim of making the city a popular destination for tourists.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 4:45 pm
The new cultral stratergy has been created ahead of a City of Culture bid in 2029.
The new cultral stratergy has been created ahead of a City of Culture bid in 2029.

The wide-ranging new Peterborough Cultural Strategy will be discussed by city councillors at a scrutiny meeting next week (September 28).

The strategy, which has been co-produced by a number of parties, aims to give all residents the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate culture and to make Peterborough a popular destination for tourists.

It also recommends the creation of a new Peterborough Cultural Alliance to develop arts and heritage across the city, including through existing events, festivals and buildings.

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Other key focuses of the strategy include preparing a City of Culture bid in 2029 and engaging with young people, with the report acknowledging there is an existing ‘cultural deficit’ for under-25s.

The announcement comes after Arts Council England named Peterborough as one of the areas that will be made a priority area for investment.

The city is also due to benefit from millions of pounds thanks to the Government’s Towns Fund, which includes replacing TK Maxx in Bridge Street with The Vine – a new library and cultural site in the city centre.

Cllr Steve Allen, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for culture, said: “The new Peterborough Cultural Strategy is a major piece of work which we believe will deliver huge benefits to the city for years to come.

“Culture is vital for improving people’s livelihoods and boosting the economy, which is why it is important we reach out to as many people as possible to make sure they can enjoy the benefits.

“We’ve already secured funding for The Vine in Bridge Street, have been named as a priority investment area for Arts Council England and will benefit from our new university ARU Peterborough. This strategy will make sure we can build on all of these in future years and make Peterborough a cultural hotspot for the area.”

The cultural strategy has been co-produced by a number of organisations. These are:

- Peterborough City Council

- City Culture Peterborough

- Nene Park Trust

- Metal Peterborough

- Jumped Up Theatre

- Norfolk & Norwich Festival Bridge

- Arts Council England.

Among the key recommendations are:

- Using culture to transform lives and promote prosperity

- Celebrating the diversity of Peterborough’s communities

- Celebrating Peterborough’s open spaces and buildings and helping the city reach its net zero carbon pledge by 2030

- Preparing a ‘City of Culture’ bid in 2029

- Establishing a body for culture (arts and heritage), provisionally named the Peterborough Cultural Alliance

- Maximising cultural investment into the city for years to come

- Building stronger partnerships within the cultural sector, including joined-up promotion of events, assets and festivals

- Working with people from all backgrounds (especially young people) to ensure they are heavily involved in culture and can hold the PCA to account

- Commissioning new artwork to celebrate our heritage

- Reporting publicly once a year on progress, with an in-depth review in the second half of 2026 and renewal of the strategy in 2031.

The strategy will be discussed by members of the council’s Communities Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 28 September. It will then be considered by the Cabinet and Full Council at later dates.

The meeting can be viewed on the council’s YouTube page: