The role of Local Authorities in leading Place-making

CCLOA, working with Local Government Association (LGA),  have compiled a suite of case studies that shares best practice and aims to help Local Authority senior decision makers understand their role in driving forward the Place-making agenda. 

There is now widespread acknowledgement of the importance cultural activity has on the lives of people, communities and places.  In recognition of this, LGA and cCLOA have launched a new publication that highlights how councils are using culture to create a sense of shared identity and purpose in their areas, and to tackle their big issues of the day. 

pdfPeople, culture, place: the role of culture in placemaking contains 10 case studies where officer and political leadership has combined to develop innovative practice using cultural activities to bring about positive changes to their places. The examples reveal how communities can draw on their cultural and historic strengths to tackle modern issues.  They reflect a range of different types of council, location and themes such as economic renewal in Margate, tackling homelessness in Oxford and revitalising civic pride in Blackpool and Barnsley.  Together, they show how the arts and culture can be used to improve a wide range of measurable outcomes, from education and wellbeing to economic growth and community cohesion.

Councillor Stephens, Chair of the Culture, Tourism & Sport Board said “There is a fantastic amount of creativity and ambition among councils and their communities to come together and create great places to live and work. This publication showcases some excellent examples of how this can be done.”

Polly Hamilton, Vice Chair of cCLOA said “As places jostle in an increasingly competitive marketplace for new investment, visitor spend and development, culture has an essential role to play beyond showcasing the local offer and quality of life.  This is about demonstrating local leadership, civic confidence and ambition – all qualities sought by funders and developers alike in prospective partners”

The aim of this publication is to share best practice and help decision-makers (officers and councillors with an interest in, or responsibility for, cultural services) better understand their role in championing, and delivering, the placemaking agenda.

With the DCMS culture white paper putting such a strong focus on placemaking, and with national initiatives such as the Great Place Scheme being launched to embed arts, culture and heritage in local plans and decision-making, there has never been a better time for councils to lead local action that builds on the contribution of the arts, culture and heritage in creating prosperous, healthier, stronger and happier communities.

Councils are uniquely placed to facilitate and drive placemaking activity. The principles in the case studies can be applied anywhere, and we hope that the examples will inspire you to explore new possibilities with your own communities.