Nene Park Trust to lead on new Peterborough culture strategy

Nene Park Trust has been handed £23,000 by Peterborough City Council to lead on a new cultural strategy.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:48 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:00 am

The trust, which is responsible for city attractions including Ferry Meadows Country Park, will co-ordinate plans to help Peterborough “build back better,” the council said.

As previously revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph there is an aspiration to move on from the previous strategy in 2015 as “much has changed over the last six years, both in terms of the cultural landscape and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

This includes Vivacity handing back its operations of the city’s museum, libraries, theatre and sports/leisure facilities which are now being run by two council-controlled organisations - City Culture Peterborough and Peterborough Limited.

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The Key Theatre which was previously run by Vivacity

Arts Council England will also provide a grant to the trust of £23,000 to support work on the new strategy, with Nene Park also said to be contributing its own funds.

Sarah Tanburn Associates will be commissioned to undertake the detailed planning and consultation.

Plans already revealed for the city include a new library and cultural hub in Bridge Street, called The Vine, as well as a Bronze Age-themed extension to the city’s museum.

The council said: “The Covid pandemic has touched all aspects of life, most obviously physical and mental health, public confidence and the economy.

“As Peterborough and the country starts to recover from these impacts there is an opportunity to not just go back to how things were before, but to build back, better.

“The cultural landscape within Peterborough can play an essential role in the recovery, driving new skills and employment, creating community cohesion and integration, empowering and engaging communities and helping to grow the local and national reputation for Peterborough as a destination city for tourism.

“Whilst the former Vivacity services form a part of the cultural landscape within Peterborough there are many other organisations locally that play a key role in the broader cultural offer.

“Historically, many of the organisations have worked in silos, developing and delivering their own offer and, at times, competing against one another for business. There has been a lack of overall direction and collective vision of how different organisations can work together for the greater good.

“It is therefore proposed that a new cultural strategy for the city is developed that will bring partners together and develop shared vision and values.”

The new strategy will “take into account assets owned by the city council (for example Cathedral Square and the Embankment), the outdoor environment, theatres, heritage and other creative industries,” as well as non-council assets and organisations.

The council said Nene Park Trust is “seen by many organisations as an independent and neutral body with a trusted track record” and that as a registered charity, it has a “greater reach into communities and community based organisations”.