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Kingston Council launches new creative and cultural strategy to encourage inclusive growth across the borough

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‘Made in Kingston: a Creative and Cultural Strategy’ which outlines the council’s ambitious plans to ensure culture plays a vital role in shaping growth across the borough was approved on 27 March.

The aim of the new strategy is to drive growth that benefits all residents and communities, and ensure culture is a key consideration in development opportunities in Kingston.

The strategy outlines how the council will work with partners to strengthen the creative industries rooted in the borough. This includes encouraging people who work in the creative industries to bring their working life into the borough; supporting local creative employers to stay and grow; developing skills and career pathways and strengthening both local and international creative networks.

In addition, the strategy aims to open up creative places and spaces, building on existing assets and reputations. This represents a unique opportunity to develop the borough’s live music offer and build on Kingston’s rich music heritage.

As part of this approach, the council will be setting up a working group from licensing, planning, culture and regeneration to consider how to integrate cultural infrastructure into new developments, including the need for a large live music venue. This work will connect with the Greater London Authority’s support for the night-time economy and the Mayor of London’s strategy to develop and protect London’s live music venues.

Kingston was one of six boroughs that was awarded £90,000 by the Mayor of London to celebrate the borough’s rich music heritage and support the live music scene across the borough. The proposals include developing a live music circuit across the borough to support emerging talent whilst bringing together communities, artists, venues and promoters to boost cultural opportunities.

Stephen Evans, Director, Communities at Kingston Council, said:

“The time has never been better to place culture and creativity at the heart of inclusive growth. Kingston’s priority is to ensure the benefits of growth are enjoyed by all communities.

“Here in Kingston we have a rich and diverse culture that can help drive good growth, support livelihoods, families and quality of life. We are immensely grateful to all our community stakeholders who helped to shape this strategy and we look forward to working with them in the coming months to take this strategy forward."

The new strategy has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders through consultation and workshops. Work on the plan is set to begin in Summer 2018.