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An independent enquiry has championed the power of cultural investment to drive growth in our cities. Chaired by Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the Cultural Cities Enquiry came together in March 2018 to develop a new model to help culture flourish in our cities in the context of diminishing public funding. 

The Enquiry outlines how UK cities can make greater use of cultural assets to promote thriving communities and to compete successfully for talent, tourism and investment – while developing new income streams that will support culture for the long term. It also emphasise the role of culture in attracting people to cities as places they want to work, live, and play.

Chief among its recommendations is the creation of Cultural City Compacts that will bring together civic leaders and partners from culture, business, and education, to make best use of resources and secure the social and economic benefits that come from embedding arts and culture in civic life.

These Compacts will deliver against local priorities such as regenerating high streets and post-industrial quarters, establishing creative clusters, developing tourist revenue, supporting local creative talent and building civic engagement.

The report demonstrates how business and cultural sectors can work together to plan and support local growth through culture, based on their shared interests in promoting creative and digital innovation, capturing external investment and attracting and nurturing talent.

Headline recommendations: 

City Cultural Compacts: Cities would draw together partners from across city government, culture, business and higher education 
Corporate Social Venture Funds: Local vehicles for social investment into culture and creative organisations
Creative Talent Pathways: Coordinated approaches to development of creative talent to meet local needs, which government could support by making apprenticeship levy rules more flexible
Cultural property assets: Making strategic use of cities’ cultural property assets to revive high streets and city centres, and help prevent displacement of cultural activity in the wake of urban regeneration. 

Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff City Council said: “Core Cities UK has always believed in the power of culture to transform lives. In my own city of Cardiff, sports, culture and the creative industries have become a major part of what makes Cardiff such a great place to live – but we need new channels of investment to sustain and grow this sector.
“The Cultural Cities Enquiry has come up with a number of clear, practical measures to secure and enhance the position of British cities among the leading cultural centres of the world. Core City UK leaders will now work hard to make sure the recommendations are heard, understood and implemented.”