Positive 'Cultural conversation' in The Deepings

Almost 30 groups involved in the district's culture have met in Market Deeping to talk about ways to build on the role that arts and heritage play.

The meeting, hosted by South Kesteven District Council, was the latest in a series of popular 'conversations' with stakeholders and partners in all four market towns. 

Leader of the Council, Councillor Matthew Lee, told the meeting: "Culture is a vital part of all our lives and provides our residents with a great quality of life. It can inspire people to new learning and development opportunities and it makes us an attractive location for people to move to. 

"We have bold ambitions for every aspect of South Kesteven, and I have always been clear that we will achieve those aspirations through collaboration with other partners. This cultural conversation invites all partners, right across the district, to play their part in shaping our future." 

People at the meeting described the The Deepings having an "artisan spirit and resilience" - and applauded the residents' strong sense of community. 

The meetings have triggered a wider programme of consultation - online and face-to-face - during spring and early summer to encourage the 'conversation' to go further afield to ensure the broadest possible range of views. 

The first will be on Friday 22 February, where SK staff will be on the streets of Stamford to coincide with the Arts Around Town Family Day, which runs from 11am-4pm with events all around the town. 

These will be followed by online consultation, and the opportunity for other interested parties to feedback on Twitter using the #SKCulture2019 hashtag. 

There will be further opportunities for residents to have their say at public engagement events throughout March, April and May with a number of workshops and other events planned across the district. 

Head of Arts Michael Cross, who is co-ordinating the process, said: "The event at Market Deeping welcomed an audience that was lively, interested and engaged. In many cases they are already working together and we are now looking at moving forward together as part of this initiative." 

South Kesteven already has a rich vein of cultural activity, including two thriving arts centres and a varied festival programme that includes the Deepings Literary Festival, Gravity Fields Festival, Stamford's Georgian Festival, and a new festival of cycling in and around Bourne. 

To be involved or to have individual informal conversations, please contact Michael Cross, InvestSK Head of Arts - michael.cross@investsk.co.uk or on 07966 299400 - or Claire Saunders (Heritage Regeneration Officer - claire.saunders@investsk.co.uk) 

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For media enquiries:Email the SKDC communications team at pr@southkesteven.gov.uk or call 01476 406498 or 406440.