Cumbria Crack

Have your say on Carlisle culture

L-R: Roddy Hunter, director, Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria; Catherine Coulthard, chief executive, Prism Arts; Darren Crossley, deputy chief executive, Carlisle City Council; Andrew Mackay, director, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust.

A conversation has begun with the aim of shaping Carlisle’s future growth through its rich arts, culture and heritage – and everyone is invited to join in.

Prism Arts is hosting the next Carlisle Culture Conversation tomorrow (28 Februrary).

Programme + Place will take place at the Business Interaction Centre in Paternoster Row, in the heart of the city’s historic quarter.

It is one of four themed events taking place in February and March as part of Carlisle Culture, a project aiming to develop a framework for arts and culture-led development across the city-region of Carlisle.

The Vallum Gallery at the University of Cumbria’s Institute of the Arts welcomed 50 guests to the formal launch of Carlisle Culture last week.

The University of Cumbria, Carlisle City Council, Prism Arts and Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery are proud partners leading this development stage of the new consortium, which is supported by Arts Council England

Senior figures from the four partner organisations came together last year to form an interim steering group.

Roddy Hunter, director of the university’s Institute of the Arts, said: “We know that there are a lot of people in Carlisle who are really engaged with arts and culture and we know that arts and culture are really important to the city, particularly in terms of it as a heritage place and because of the visitor economy.

“Carlisle Culture is about opening up that conversation to get as many people to talk about what will make a difference to the area. This is the start of that conversation.

“This in an invitation to everyone to get involved in our four themed conversations that are taking place in the coming weeks or through the website –”

Jane Beardsworth, senior relations manager for Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture benefit us economically, socially and educationally, from the future prospects of our children, to the vibrancy of our towns and cities, to the contribution made to economic growth – and arts and cultural participation has the potential to promote wellbeing and to bring people together.

“At Arts Council England, we are delighted to support the formation of the Carlisle Cultural Consortium. We look forward to working with the consortium and its partners as they develop a cultural strategy for Carlisle which will ensure that culture makes a difference to the city region’s local communities.”

The programme of Carlisle Culture Conversation events in February and March is providing a public platform for consultation, debate and information exchanges linked to four themes.

The first of the four inter-linking events took place at the university’s Brampton Road campus shortly after last week’s official launch.

Darren Crossley, Deputy Chief Executive of Carlisle City Council, led the themed debate focusing on ‘Arts and Culture for Health & Wellbeing’ with an aim of building on existing good practice that is already benefitting local patients and Carlisle’s place in the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities Network.

“This is just the start of the journey and we can explore how we invite people to play and part and engage in the heart of their communities,” said Darren.

The event comes just a month after the university hosted Cumbria’s first Arts in Health Conversation, an event bringing arts and health practitioners together.

Two more Carlisle Culture Conversations are taking place in March. Places can be booked and further information is available at:

Tuesday 12 March 9.30am – 12noon, University of Cumbria, Creative + Culture Economy – Nominated Theme Champion: Roddy Hunter, Director of the Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria.

Friday 29 March 9.30am-12noon, Tullie House – Creative Learning – Nominated Theme Champion: Andrew Mackay, Director, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust.

For more information, visit

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