St Helens Council reveal arts strategy for the town

St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved an ambitious strategy which sets out the direction of the arts sector over the next five years.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:26 am
Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, Councillor Anthony Burns, pictured with Theatre Royal Manager, Chantelle Nolan who worked on the St Helens Borough Arts Strategy steering group

Developed with partners across the arts sector through a local steering group – the St Helens Borough Arts Strategy has been designed to be inclusive to help ensure every resident can engage with the arts, and will support post Covid-19 recovery plans as well as future regeneration projects.

The strategy – which comes at a pivotal time with St Helens once again selected to be Borough of Culture for the Liverpool City Region in 2023 - centres on seven priorities for action within the next five-years, including aligning arts with the borough’s priorities for regeneration – with a particular emphasis on the Town Deal; strengthening relationships with the voluntary sector; and developing The Dream sculpture as an asset.

Showing her support to the strategy, Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager of the Theatre Royal, who was part of the steer group, said: "We've been part of the arts scene here in St Helens for more than 20 years now and during that time we have seen the sector grow and grow, with a number of organisations coming to the borough to offer something different.

"It's good to see the council show a commitment to our sector which has been through a rough-ride the past year and we're excited to play a role in an exciting future for the borough."

Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “We have some fantastic artists, assets, and creative organisations here in St Helens Borough – from the council’s very own award-winning St Helens Library Service, which became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation in 2018 – to our wonderful St Helens Theatre Royal to name just a couple.

“This strategy will build on the talent and passions for the arts that already exists, bringing together a shared ambition that has been developed with the arts sector to develop St Helens as an inspiring place to live, work and visit.

“The arts has true social value for the borough, enriching our lives through improving our physical and mental health and well-being, improving self-confidence, helping us to develop new skills, helping to raise attainment in schools, supporting community cohesion and using the creative industries to support economic growth.

“The arts sector has suffered greatly due to the effects of the pandemic. As the vaccinations roll out, hopefully it won't be too long before we can get back to some sort of normal and enjoy taking part in the arts once more.

“This is a strategy for everyone. It is mindful of all the different forms of art across the borough and of the barriers that can prevent people from taking part. I hope that through a shared commitment to work together we can enable the arts to thrive and provide great opportunities for all to enjoy.”

To view the strategy visit: https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/artstrategy