Stockport Named Town of Culture
Stockport has been named Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture for 2023, securing £50,000 to support arts and creativity in the borough.
As the borough’s only Arts Council England portfolio funded organisation, the Writing Squad was involved in putting together the bid and, before that, the small group that developed the area’s first cultural strategy – The Place That Makes Itself.
Led by Director of Culture and Leisure Peter Ashworth, aided by consultant Claire Turner, our Director Steve Dearden worked with Jacqui Wood from Arc Centre Stockport, Darren Stannage from NK Theatre Arts, and recently John Macauley from Grit Studios and Rebecca Swarray from AGMA Culture Team.
Steve said, “Through proper consultation, the avoidance of boosterism – the best this, the most that – by expressing the aspirations of people who live and work here in their language and by swerving glossy here-today-gone-tomorrow imports, we have something that can only be Stockport. It has been great working with an enabling local authority that gets the importance of that, and while many factors and people contributed to the bid’s success, the cultural strategy was a great catalyst and will provide the framework for a strengthened cultural sector once the razzmatazz has moved on.”
And hopefully by then other Stockport organisations will have joined the Writing Squad in Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.