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Decision details

Developing a Strategic Approach to Culture in Sheffield

Decision Maker: Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved



Culture has moved organisationally within Sheffield City Council from Leisure to Economic Development, opening up new opportunities to use culture to make Sheffield a great and inclusive place to work, study, invest, and live.


The report proposed some strategic actions which would strengthen the cultural leadership role of Sheffield City Council and help the sector to develop.



RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee:-



1.    Formally adopt the Sheffield Culture Collective Strategy on behalf of Sheffield City Council as an interim, while SCC works with partners to develop a full city Culture Strategy;


2.    Note the submission of three Expressions of Interest to the Create Growth Fund; Cultural Development Fund 3; and Place Partnership Fund; and


3.    Support in principle the creation of a Cultural Feasibility Fund through external funding sources such as SYMCA.




Reasons for Decision




Three strategic actions were proposed in the report:


Action 1: Adopt a clear strategy which can underpin funding applications in the sector.

Action 2: Engage with immediate external funding opportunities

Action 3: Support the creation of a Cultural Feasibility Fund and project pipeline




These actions will help to create a context where the cultural sector can develop further and SCC can show cultural leadership:


·       The adoption of an interim Strategy will give clarity and confidence to funders

·       SCC’s clear support with external funding bids will improve the likelihood of success

·       A Cultural Feasibility Fund will start to create a cultural project pipeline, and will begin to address inequalities in provision and access to resources.




Alternatives Considered and Rejected




Do Nothing


By undertaking none of the proposed actions, the cultural sector in Sheffield will continue to experience under-investment from external funders and SCC will suffer ongoing reputational damage in its cultural leadership.




Develop an SCC Cultural Strategy without adopting the Culture Collective Strategy as an interim


It will take a number of months to craft an effective city Cultural Strategy. If we waited for the creation of a new document without having an adopted strategy document, this would continue to undermine external funding bids and reduce clarity and profile for culture. The Sheffield Culture Collective Strategy was developed for a particular purpose with 19 local organisations and individuals, and does not include all the elements (e.g Net Zero) or methodology (co-creation) which would feature in a city Culture Strategy. However, the general approach and priorities of the Collective Strategy are in line with Council policy, and provide a valuable immediate strategic hook for strengthening the cultural landscape in the city.





Publication date: 20/09/2022

Date of decision: 07/09/2022

Decided at meeting: 07/09/2022 - Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: