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CULTURAL AND CREATIVE BOOST FOR SOUTH WEST ENGLAND

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A new organisation to promote and speak for all the cultural and ...
A new organisation to promote and speak for all the cultural and

creative interests in South West England has been launched by culture

secretary Chris Smith.

The South West Regional Cultural Consortium, holding its first

meeting at Hatch Beauchamp near Taunton, will draw up a strategy to

help the region make the most of the opportunities that cultural,

sporting, tourism and creative activities have to offer, and to forge

links between them.

The consortium, chaired by Adrian Vinken, chief executive of the

Theatre Royal Plymouth and Plymouth Pavillions, is made up of

representatives of local government, local business and regional

agencies working in the arts, heritage, tourism, libraries, sport and

archives, as well as individuals from the creative industries such as

film and television. It will contribute to discussions on the way

national lottery money is spent.

Mr Smith, who is also visiting Sherborne House, Montacute House, a

multimedia company and an arts centre, said:

'Much of the South West is rightly known for its attraction to

visitors from all over Britain and around the world. But it also has

great cultural traditions such as St Ives as a centre for artists,

the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a wealth of history across the

region, from Stonehenge to Land's End.

'Together with new developments, often funded with the help of the

Millennium Commission and national lottery, they make a major

contribution to the quality of life which makes the region so

attractive. The consortium is a tremendous opportunity to build on

those strengths and help them flourish for the benefit of everyone.'

Adrian Vinken said:

'The consortium will aim to advocate and support cultural interests

throughout our region. Across public, business and voluntary sectors.

By promoting partnerships it will help increase cultural

opportunities and improve the quality of life available to both local

residents and visitors to the area.

'We want to ensure that our strategy for the region is informed by

the views of both those working in the cultural sectors and the

general public. We will consult widely to ensure that everyone has

the opportunity to contribute to guiding the cultural future of our

region.'

Notes

1. The chair of the consortium is appointed by the secretary of

state for culture media and sport. Members of the consortium are

nominated by regional cultural and sporting bodies, and local

government. The consortium may invite other members to join from

other interests such as the creative industries, the voluntary sector

and education.

2. The membership of the consortium is as follows:

Chair: Adrian Vinken - chief executive, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Paul Brough - regional archivist, 'Groundbreaker', Plymouth

and West Devon Records Office

Councillor Robin Bush - Somerset CC

Sue Clifford - director, Common Ground, Shaftesbury, Dorset

Caroline Dudley - chair, South West Museums Council

Pauline Dyer - head of libraries and heritage, Wiltshire CC

Elizabeth Gass - South West commissioner, English Heritage

Edward Gillespie - managing director, Cheltenham Racecourse

Alan Livingston - chair, South West Arts

Councillor Andrew May - Bristol City Council

Jeremy Payne - managing director, HTV West

Stella Pirie - chair, GWR (West) and Endeavour International

Councillor Pat Roberts - deputy chair, West Country Tourist Board

Councillor Norman Thompson - Restormel Council

Viv Vines - chair, South West Sport

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