Agenda item

Culture Plan Update


Councillor Mark Deacon (Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Culture, Leisure and Sport), David Draffan (Service Director for Economic Development), Hannah Harris (Chief Executive of Plymouth Culture) and Victoria Pomery (CEO The Box) presented the report which highlighted the following key areas –



the Culture Plan had been adopted by the City Council in March 2021 and published in May 2021; the Plan was the culmination of extensive consultation with stakeholders and part of a robust process to co-design the 10 year strategy for Culture;




the co-design process was conducted between April 2020 – January 2021 with the support of external facilitators, Arts Development Company Dorset and included -





40 one to one interviews with stakeholders;



three facilitated workshops;



three consultation workshops;



five focus groups (conducted with the support of partner organisations Barbican Theatre Plymouth, Funky llama Steering Group, Beyond Face, students from Plymouth Marjon University and the Freelance Task Force); 





to support the development of the Culture Plan, Plymouth Culture had recommissioned the Audience Agency to collate and analyse data relating to cultural audiences, Plymouth residents and the cultural sector; this was designed to better understand the economic and social impact of the sector across the City and begin the process to use data to drive decision making within the sector; this work that formed the basis of the report.


The Chair considered that the update report had not reflected the Committee’s ask and that further clarification on certain issues was required in order to fully understand it.


The Committee –



sought clarification on the following key points -





on the methodology that had been used regarding the Culture Plan data report and the social impact report (ie which organisations had been liaised with);






on how the Audience Agency worked, how the data was collated, the origin of the data and how representative it was (in respect of the audience segmentation);






whether there was an opportunity to reflect on the data already available and the measures that could be undertaken to improve it in the future;






whether there was a further opportunity for Scrutiny to provide a steer regarding the design of the research work to be conducted prior to the British Art Show;






with regard to the priority work programme, in particular ‘aligning the cultural engagement activity with the National Marine Park Horizon programme for an effective community engagement strategy’, it would be helpful to have a joined up strategy; (ie the aim should be that residents in more deprived neighbourhoods would be more engaged in the cultural sector and green and blue areas of the City)’;






whether all schools had been reached with regard to The Box’s Schools’ Programme and if data was available relating to whether the visits to The Box were first time visits or repeat visits;






on what would be the City’s next big cultural offer (other than The Box) which would result in increased visitor numbers and therefore spend;






on what measures the City could take, in order to increase both visitor numbers and revenue, as it was considered that Plymouth did not have the cultural offer of other similar sized cities;






what community engagement work was being undertaken in this sector;






whether Culture Plymouth had been working with other local authorities to promote Plymouth’s cultural offer;






with regard to the employment map, whether data on where employees came from across the City to engage with the sector through employment was known;





raised -






that one of the challenges for Councillors was being able to think across Wards (without mapping a geographical area); it would be helpful if this could be addressed in the future; it was hoped that the gap in the data would be addressed through the recently commissioned work, in order to support how culture reached across the City;






whilst the map detailing ‘the number of organisations interviewed which were focusing in each postal sector’ was informative, there was a need to improve data accuracy, look to increase the number of organisations submitting data and how this could be achieved;






how the City could evidence the different cultural connections, in order to provide confidence that culture was reaching all communities.


The Chair –



took this opportunity to welcome Victoria Pomery (CEO of The Box) to her first Scrutiny meeting and passed on his congratulations to the staff who worked at The Box for their work in this award winning venue;




advised that whilst a lot of good work had been undertaken, in his opinion the report had not detailed a tangible plan that demonstrated what actions were being undertaken to get people, post Covid-19, to see big live music events and theatre/gallery productions in the City; Plymouth was a fantastic city and he would like to see more live performances and art events.


The Committee agreed to -



actively support the development and delivery of BAS9 as a cross City transformational engagement programme;




endorse the Cultural Partnership, led by Plymouth Culture, to steer the implementation of the Culture Plan.



Supporting documents: