Agenda and minutes

Culture and Visitor Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 15th November, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: River Room, Jubilee Church Life Centre, 5 London Road, Grantham, NG31 6EY

Contact: Anita Eckersley 

No. Item






Disclosure of Interests


Action Notes from the meeting held on 13 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 191 KB


    The action notes from the meeting held on 13 September 2018 were agreed, however the Chairman asked for clarity in relation to the cost to facilitate the Gravity Fields festival.  Was the £140,000 SKDC match funding on top of the £89,700 Arts Council funding.  The Head of Arts Council indicated that he understood that was the case but he would seek clarification from the Corporate Operations Lead.


Updates from the previous meeting


    The CEO InvestSK informed the Committee that the Heritage Regeneration Officer had been in dialogue with Councillor Stevens in relation to the Deepings Literacy Festival to try and arrange a suitable date to discuss how all heritage activity in the Deepings could be linked in to festivals as they are being developed.


Proposed delivery plan for Culture & Arts activity to the end of the financial year and an outline of proposals for 2019-20

    Presentation by Chief Executive Officer InvestSK.


    The Committee received a presentation on the proposed delivery plan for Culture and Arts activity for the remainder of 2018/19 and proposals for 2019/20.   Arts, culture and heritage played an important part in driving social, economic and civic regeneration.  It contributed to civic identity and social cohesion and promoted new skills and opportunities as well as enhancing the quality of life and making a fundamental difference to making areas a better place to live.


    The Head of Arts then spoke about the three main areas that were being focused on in relation to culture and arts activity.  The delivery of the Cultural Strategy was the main priority although the delivery angle had been “flipped” to carry out more public engagement to inform the content of the document.  Consultation events with strategic partners, stakeholders and practitioners had been arranged in the four market towns on the dates below before more general consultation with the public were carried out:


    23 January 2019 – Stamford – venue Stamford Arts Centre

    29 January 2019 – Grantham – venue Guildhall Arts Centre

    31 January 2019 – Bourne – venue Bourne Corn Exchange

    Provisional 12 February 2019 – The Deepings – venue TBC


    The broader remit of sports and science were still a priority to be included with the Cultural Strategy.


    Other areas where work was being carried out was to directly fund local cultural organisations over a three year period. The fund was to help organisations to deliver activities, build capacity over a sustained period to enable future self-sustainability and provide equipment or activity infrastructure.   An example was given of work being undertaken with Bourne Town Hall and their heritage lottery bid.  Also proposed was the introduction of a discretionary award for grants up to a maximum of £500 for equipment or other support, to help ensure an event or activity could be delivered.


    Also being planned was a series of “Expo” style events with schools during March 2019 to include creative engagement workshops to encourage both pupil and resident participation.   Colleagues helping with these events included the Chief Executive from Inspire+ who was contacting headmasters around the district not just in the four main towns but also rural areas.  One Member asked about the objective of the engagement format, who was involved. The Head of Arts replied that it was hoped that the events would take place in afternoons and parents would be encouraged to pick up their children earlier so that they could be shown what their children had been doing and it would be an opportunity to speak to both parents and school staff.   It was hoped that from the consultation events areas of similar concern would become apparent, or new events could be identified where assistance to deliver the event could be given. It would be a broad brush approach and Members would be invited to attend the events proposed. 


    A discussion then followed the presentation.   Issues discussed by the Committee included:


    ·         Lack of progress to date and the current position  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.


Proposed delivery plan for Heritage activity for 2018-19 and an outline of proposals for 2019-20

    Presentation by Chief Executive Officer InvestSK.


    The Heritage Regeneration Officer gave a presentation to the Committee on the delivery of a programme which celebrated heritage within the district. The district had a rich and diverse heritage with a large number of listed buildings and the second highest number of Grade II listed buildings within the district. Historically both Grantham and Stamford had been Royal boroughs and, with over a 1,000 years of history this has helped to shape the towns and communities that we live in today.   The heritage programme would focus on three strands:


    -       Celebrating our Heritage

    -       Enabling communities to utilise and access their heritage assets

    -       Delivering selected interventions to further the wider aims of InvestSK and SKDC


    In celebrating heritage within the district, highlights of the wide diversity needed to be made from individual statues to grand historic buildings and their historic connections.  The enabling programme was to really engage with local communities to utilize the assets that they had to support their community.  Intervention would be to deliver programmes where there was a strategic priority for South Kesteven, to bring groups together to drive a process forward.


    The Heritage Regeneration Officer then spoke on each individual strand.  The Heritage Alive website would continue to be developed, to explore stories around the intangible heritage. There would be the creation of a celebratory book highlighting the people and places within South Kesteven and promoting the district beyond the boundaries of individual places for both residents and visitors.  Wayfinding guides to explain the historic environment in context including blue plaque guides compiled by Civic Societies.  Digital solutions were also being explored for heritage interpretation.    Reference was made to rural areas and how heritage assets could be utilized for a wider audience not just within the boundaries of the area in which they were situated. The Heritage Strategy would work alongside the cultural strategy and the visitor economy agenda.    A Heritage Alive! small grants fund was in place to support constituted groups, charities, schools and places of worship to discover, interpret and preserve their heritage, there was no desire to dictate to the communities what they should do with their heritage assets. The grant was there to help with interpretation, commissioning and research. There were three grant tiers.


    Intervention was where InvestSK could help deliver programmes where main stream funding was difficult to get. InvestSK would directly assist to help access services and other funding and support. The application forms were designed to be as clear as possible with turnaround times as quick as possible.  The grant scheme had been officially launched at the recent Business and Economic summit.  


    The Lincoln Diocesan had been the first people to have a development officer to review how churches were used as community assets.  South Kesteven District Council was a cold spot for this.  It was acknowledged that Lincolnshire was a large County but it was how we could actively engage with rural churches to encourage them to be open more rather than just on Sundays and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.


Visitor Economy

    Update to be given by the Head of Visitor Economy.


    The Head of Visitor Economy gave an update to the Committee on work being undertaken in connection with visitor economy.   Initially a trailer had been rented but then a specific one had been secured.  It had been out about 25 times both locally and elsewhere in the County including Leicestershire. The trailer had proven popular with the public and was being outfitted with Wi-Fi and satellite capabilities, it was an effective marketing tool for the visitor economy.


    Another hugely effective marketing tool was the new website which was due to be up and running in the following week. The website would include accommodation, places to eat, places to visit and walks to take. It would also be geared towards groups visiting the market towns. Work was being done with Civic Societies and Deepings Heritage to help develop itineraries.    Routes were being developed for walking and cycling and work was being carried out with churches to help them to become more visitor attractive in the wider countryside arena.


    The Head of Visitor Economy then read out some statistics in relation to hits on the current website which had been compiled by STEAM. The website had received 62,000 visits in the last 12 months.   From 1 May there had been a 41% increase year on year of hits on the website.  From the end of July 2017 there had been a £10m increase, employment was up and visitor footfall had increased to 4.4m which was a 23% increase.


    Work was continuing on the visitor guide which was due to be published in mid-December.  Advertising within the document had received good support and the guide had some good photography within in and an events section.  An Instagram account had been set up and work was being done in relation to having a Facebook account and Twitter account.


    The RAF Centenary celebrations had been popular with walks in both North Witham and Caythorpe. Four visits had taken place to St Vincent’s, the Lincolnshire headquarters of bomber command and 620 tickets had been sold for the RAF 100 concert in St Wulfram’s Church featuring the Band of the RAF College and the Cranwell Military Wives Choir on 16 November 2018.  At the concert the violin of Albert Ball VC would be played for only the second time during the second half of the concert. The concert would be filmed so could be watched on line.


    Work was also being done in relation to the Bourne CiCLE Festival which would take place over two days on 31 August and 1 September 2019. The festival would include skateboarding and BMX racing as well as penny-farthing racing.  The course was fantastic and challenging and a lot of planning was being done in relation to the event.


    A general discussion then followed with one Member referring to the arrival by train at Grantham station and how unwelcoming it was.  The CEO InvestSK indicated that work was being done under the wayfinding project to have a monolith situated at the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.


Close of Meeting