More than 70 people, representing a varied group of arts and community organisations participated in Stroud Town Council’s Cultural Strategy Consultations.
The events, which were run by consultants Mary Schwarz and Sue Kay attracted contributions from individual artists to venues and internationally renowned festivals to local groups.
The aim of the project is to ensure that the contribution made by Stroud’s arts and cultural offerings is both valued and adequately supported.
Participants were asked to identify the challenges and the opportunities for culture in Stroud and to identify the headline priorities that they would like to see addressed.
The results will be pulled together into a strategic document for the town, alongside an audit of cultural and community spaces and a review of the national, regional and local cultural landscape.
This document should provide the Council with a framework to inform funding decisions but will also be valuable as a context which should provide local organisations with some much needed direction and information from which to develop their own funding bids.
In addition, Create Gloucestershire has begun some focused sessions to connect with young people and disabled people to ensure that their views are taken into consideration when planning for the future.
The work, which is being undertaken with Arts Council funding and the support of Create Gloucestershire, will continue until January when the consultants will draw together an overall strategy including a plan of action.
Emerging feed-back appears to show the importance of inclusivity, collaboration and co-ordination between arts organisations but also identifies broader themes such as rural transport and accessibility.
The full document will be presented to the Council in February for sign off after which it will be made available to organisations and the public.