Northampton’s theatre and arts offering is set to be boosted by the creation of a cultural board, which is being set up to develop a “bold vision” for the town.
Arts Council England has allocated £20,000 to create the body, which will support initiatives such as Northampton Forward and the Cultural Quarter – a plan to improve the town centre through redevelopment and cultural activity.
The decision was made this week following a bid for ACE funding submitted last year by a group of partners led by Northampton Borough Council.
The group includes the Royal and Derngate Theatre, the University of Northampton and Northamptonshire County Council.
The Royal and Derngate’s chief executive, Jo Gordon, said: “This initiative will see key representatives from education, heritage, the visitor economy, and the creative industries work in partnership with Northampton Borough Council and other private and public stakeholders to forge a bold vision for our often overlooked town, helping us to reposition Northampton as a major creative centre, where talent, ideas and enterprise come together.”
In addition to establishing activities in Northampton’s culture sector, the grant will also fund the creation of a role that will help develop the board’s plans. Recruitment will take place later this year.
Midlands area director for ACE Peter Knott said: “Culture and creativity have a powerful effect in improving lives and well-being, developing communities and unlocking the economic potential for towns and cities.
“Northampton is a place of opportunity with a great history of industry and creativity, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Cultural Compact will bring to the town as it builds stronger communities and new networks across a broad range of partners.”