• Lead Member North Hertfordshire District Council
  • Participating Members Cardiff Council, North Hertfordshire District Council, Oldham Council, Stevenage Borough Council
  • Year 2023
  • Status Policy Labs

Principles met

  • We will promote community-based approaches to economic development that focus on supporting the creation of jobs, social enterprises and other businesses and providing an environment for co-operative and mutual enterprises to thrive.
  • We will capture and ‘expand’ the experience and learning from individual projects and approaches in order to encourage broader application of co-operative principles within individual member Councils and across the Network.
  • We will support the development of a framework and criteria for social value, giving substance to the concept and supporting Councils with the tools to ensure better local social and economic outcomes.

About the project

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Values and Principles in the project

Arts & Culture for Social Cohesion

Culture and arts can be strong drivers of development, social cohesion, and change.  At the heart of social cohesion is social inclusion. Communities with low social cohesion often have low involvement or access to civic engagement, economic opportunity, and social participation. Supporting the role of culture is vital to building social cohesion.

Culture is essential for avoiding conflicts and for conflict resolution. It is an ideal means of communicating across language barriers, empowering people and facilitating social cohesion, including among refugees, migrants and host populations. It prevents marginalisation of people based on their cultural identity, socioeconomic status, age and other factors.
The Community Engagement Panel for Arts & Culture considered how increasing Arts & Culture offerings in town centres encouraged people to use town centres with a knock-on effect of increased footfall to retail, hospitality businesses and other high street amenities.

With this policy lab we aim to:

Raise the profile of arts and culture events and activities locally.

Widen engagement with arts and culture offerings by developing an understanding of how to reach a broader range of the community.

Understand what other kinds of arts and culture events/activities we could be offering.

Understand what groups and voices could be better represented within arts and culture activities (for example, this could include more LGBTQ exhibitions or history events related to a particular culture)

This project demonstrates how to work with partners and other CCIN members collaboratively to establish co-operative working, both within and across local areas.

For example, it showcases how creatives are encouraged to work together via arts and culture networks, as well as demonstrates how neighbouring authorities can work together on arts and culture offerings. The project will also identify how to drive change by understanding how we can reach a broader section of the community to engage in our arts and culture offerings and ensure they are represented in the events and activities. In doing so, this improves outcomes, including social cohesion, social and civic participation, life satisfaction and health, as well as the local economy.

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Case Study Cardiff

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Case Study North Herts

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Case Study Oldham

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Case Study Stevenage

For further information contact: