Exeter is one of the most vibrant, attractive and historically interesting cities in England. Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, its rich history is reflected in places such as the magnificent Cathedral and fascinating Underground Passages.
Exeter has a real sense of individuality and it is renowned in the South West for its independent arts scene. In 2019 Exeter was given UNESCO City of Literature status as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the well-being of everyone in the city and to build a living city where everyone thrives. Culture plays a vital role in delivering this.
Following this the city has established a Cultural Compact with support from Arts Council England. This Compact puts value and importance of the arts at the centre of development plans for the city. Exeter is one of the first cities in the country to take this approach, set up in response to the Cultural Cities Enquiry report 2019.
Dom Jinks, Director of Exeter Culture, said: “This further places culture as a priority at the heart of Exeter. This aligns with the Cultural Strategy and will ensure that Exeter continues to develop its cultural offer for the people who live, work and visit the city.”
The Cultural Compact will operate as part of the cross discipline Liveable Exeter Place Board to assist with the delivery of the new Cultural Strategy. As a unique partnership with the public and private sector, the Liveable Exeter Place Board will weave cultural growth into high level planning and resource delivery around everyday issues facing Exeter including: housing delivery, active travel, clean growth, inclusive growth and carbon neutral development.
Image of Exeter Northcott Theatre by Mark Dawson Photography.
Sarah Crown, Arts Council England’s Literature Director, and member of the Liveable Exeter Place Board said:
“That Exeter is a UNESCO City of Literature is absolutely fantastic and is testament to the exemplary partnership working in the city. Arts Council England is the development body for arts and culture, and it’s with that in mind that we are pleased to have supported the development of the UNESCO bid, along with the development of the city’s cultural strategy.
Cultural Compacts were set up to bring a range of stakeholders together in order to achieve step-change in local cultural development, and I’m delighted to be sitting on the Liveable Exeter Place Board. This is a really exciting time for Exeter.”