Arts Council England has announced that Slough will be a priority place to focus on as part of the publication of its three year Delivery Plan for 2021 - 2024.
Arts Council England’s three-year Delivery Plan sets out a detailed roadmap to implement the vision of their strategy Let's Create: by 2030 England will be a country in which the creativity of each individual is valued and given the chance to flourish, and where everyone has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences.
The Delivery Plan highlights where there are opportunities for investment, collaboration, and progress and it names 54 priority places across England. The Arts Council will work closely with these locations to develop new opportunities for investment, both from the Arts Council and other partners. Priority places recognises the need for cultural investment, and it will give more people the opportunity to enjoy excellent cultural experiences in their communities and neighbourhoods.
Slough has been recognised as a priority place due to its cultural and creative potential. As well as having a much higher population of under 18s and young people than average, it is home to a number of diverse communities and cultures. These factors both present vast opportunities for the area, which have begun to be explored through the town’s growing cultural infrastructure of grassroots and community organisations.
Councillor Sabia Akram, lead member for leisure, culture and communities, said: “I’m delighted Slough has been chosen as one of the priority places over the next three years. I’ve seen the work the Arts Council have done in showcasing and celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of towns and cities across the UK. I’m really very excited to see what creative arts and culture activities we can bring to Slough for the benefit of all our residents. I feel honoured to be chosen and thank the Arts Council for supporting us.”
Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “This investment into Slough’s cultural scene is a massive boost to us. We are an ambitious town and are all about being inclusive and welcoming to all. The funding to contribute to an arts programme over the next three years will bring further opportunities for communities to come together.”
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have found creative new ways to serve their audiences and communities since the start of the pandemic. Our new Delivery Plan shows how we’ll work with them to build on that spirit of imagination and innovation as our society reopens.”
Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Our priority places approach provides a vital recognition that there are places across the country with huge ambition to embrace everything that culture can offer, but need more than just funding to make that happen. Through working strategically with local partners, we can bring them together and support them as they develop the local cultural infrastructure, which will in turn create vital opportunities for both artists and local communities. This work takes time and by establishing Slough as a priority place, we’re committing our time and expertise to work hand-in-hand with them as they develop their cultural offering and identity.”