Northampton Borough Council has announced plans for a Cultural Quarter that will recognise the contribution creative and cultural businesses make to the area’s economy, whilst providing focus and support for new creative businesses to develop and grow.
Backed by partner organisations including NN (Northampton Arts Collective), 78 Derngate Trust and Creative Northants, the planned Cultural Quarter will put creative innovation at the heart of Northampton’s regeneration.
Encompassing the area around Derngate and Guildhall Road that is already home to a number of galleries, theatres and museums, the quarter will become a focus for future developments and opportunities aimed at attracting creative enterprises and other complementary businesses.
Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “We are serious about making the town a place where creativity can flourish. The creative economy will play a key part in what we are trying to achieve. The sector is critical to our overall strategy of encouraging investment and growth and we want to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the businesses already in the area and support others to come and set up here.”
Plans will go before Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet on 16 January and, if approved, a new body – the Northampton Cultural Forum – will be set up to drive the development forward. The Forum will include Northampton Borough Council, NN (Northampton Arts Collective), Royal & Derngate Theatres, 78 Derngate Trust, Northamptonshire County Council, Creative Northants, University of Northampton, and Arts Council England.
Northampton based artist Sally Sheinman commented: “Obviously this is good news for artists in the area. There has been lots of work by many people over a number of years to get to this point. In addition, the business community is supporting this initiative. This could bring real change and opportunities for artists not just in Northampton but nationally.”
Councillor David Mackintosh added: “Developing our Cultural Quarter over the next few weeks, months and years will help us to not only celebrate what we have, but also to raise the profile of Northampton as a place to enjoy the best arts and entertainment.”
More on a-n.co.uk:
Local authority arts on a-n News – How are other UK councils working to recognise the contribution creative and cultural businesses make in their areas.