Stockton's Infinity Bridge

New Culture Partnership to recognise the value and power of culture across North East England

18 July 2013

Culture PartnershipA new culture partnership for the North East of England was launched today in Durham, to recognise the value of culture across the whole area and raise the profile of the sector to ensure the North East has a strong, influential and coherent voice at regional, national and international levels.

The aim of the partnership, which includes all 12 local authorities, arts and cultural organisation, businesses and educational organisations, is to build on the strong foundations of the North East’s cultural regeneration to date, in order to harness the power of culture to promote health and well being and to forge a dynamic and successful economy.

Councillor Paul Watson, Chair of the Association of North East Councils (ANEC) said:

“We very much see this new partnership as a strong voice for culture across the North East at a time when it is more important than ever to maintain our profile, promote our strengths and assets and have influence in decisions about future investment and opportunities.  Culture has been a key factor in the economic and creative growth of the North East, and the creation of the Culture Partnership demonstrates that North East England recognises the value of a vibrant future for arts and culture.”

Cultural Partnership Co-Chair, John Mowbray and Immediate Past President of the North East Chamber of Commerce added:

“Our initial aim is to harness confident and mature relationships across both public and private sectors, to fulfil the potential highlighted by councils and partners, and build on and link with existing networks. The success of the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition in Durham and the Festival of the North East has given us confidence to explore further opportunities to build on our cultural assets to enhance the image of the North East.”

Launched by BBC presenter and Sunderland born Lauren Laverne, the event, held in the Great Hall of Durham Castle, Durham University, which was attended by over 100 senior figures from arts, cultural, business and educational organisations, was a celebration of arts and culture in the North East. Renowned Northumbrian piper and Folkworks and Festival of the North East Artistic Director, Kathryn Tickell was also a key note speaker at the event offering her support for the new partnership.

Speaking at the event Lauren Laverne said: “I’m delighted to be here today to help launch this new culture partnership. Growing up in the North East was a massively enriching experience and it’s amazing to see how our cultural industry continues to develop and grow. Focusing on culture is important for the region as it is how we express ourselves and how we understand who we are. I’m sure this new partnership will enrich the lives of the people living here and show off the fantastic things the North East has to offer to the rest of the world.”

Councillor David Budd, deputy mayor of Middlesbrough and Co-Chair of the partnership said:

“Culture has helped towns reshape. Mima may be the new face of Middlesbrough, but it represents the culmination of many years of investment in modern art collection in the town. The regeneration of Redcar has been supported by a host of new cultural and creative businesses opportunities on the seafront. The tradition of artist communities in Tees Valley is demonstrated by the success of artists living and working in Saltburn and Stockton's brilliant outdoor events also bring many people to the area.

“The Angel of the North was manufactured in Hartlepool, near the Historic Quay. The Bottle of Notes was also made in the North East, on the River Tyne in Hepburn. This ability to produce culture for the North East will also be demonstrated by the new Cultural Partnership in looking to build on collaborations, such as the Festival of the North East.”

Find out more about: