Arts Council England
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Shared commitment to culture and creativity in Southampton

We've signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Southampton for 2018-2021.

Southampton’s growing reputation as a city of culture and creativity has received a major boost with the signing of a new agreement between the University of Southampton and Arts Council England.

Thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding, the long-standing partners will embark on a new phase with a strategy to further champion the provision of arts and other creativity-focused activities throughout Southampton and the wider region.

The University has made a commitment to animate the city with inspiring arts and culture activity through its own arts and culture strategy. This, in conjunction with Arts Council’s current strategy – Great Art and Culture for Everyone will embed creativity as an essential part of everyday life for everyone in the city and the surrounding area, particularly children and young people.

Louise Coysh, Associate Director, Arts and Culture at the University of Southampton, yesterday said:

At the heart of this Memorandum of Understanding lies the University’s pledge, working together with Arts Council England, to actively contribute to Southampton’s growing cultural reputation and to increase opportunities for young people and communities to engage with the arts and contribute to shaping the city’s future.

The agreement also pledges a shared commitment from Arts Council England and the University of Southampton to:

  • support the development and democratisation of the city’s cultural and creative ecology, creating opportunities for talent development, enhancing skills and employability and growing the city’s international reputation;
  • increase public understanding and promote the positive impact and benefits of arts and culture in reflecting a diverse contemporary culture and promote equality in Southampton;
  • support new opportunities for talent development, increase skills and employability in relation to current and future needs of cultural and creative sectors;
  • develop opportunities for creative research, development and innovation that supports artists, arts professionals, increasing interdisciplinary research, access to facilities and collaboration across the digital and creative industries;
  • develop and deliver a strategic cultural agenda with the higher education sector across the region, increasing graduate retention, contributing to the city and region’s growing dynamic creative ecology and reputation internationally;
  • establish an evidence base to capture the impact of how the Southampton’s Cultural Quarter as a future creative arts hub can enrich the lives of children and young people, acknowledge and develop best practice, addresses inequalities, remove barriers and seek to contribute towards national policy.

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