AN interactive map of the local arts scene has been developed to help organisations in the region access information to guide their planning and attract investment.
The map was co-commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), along with two pieces of research to help those working in the cultural sector rebuild and boost creative organisations.
With Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 and the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games cultural programme less than a year away, 2021 is a key moment for the West Midlands arts and cultural sector.
The map will help the sector plan for investment and future growth, raise the profile of the region and its cultural and creative sector, and create new partnerships and collaborations.
The WMCA is the largest regional investor in Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, providing a new £4million grant.
The funding is to be used by the Coventry City of Culture Trust to help cover the costs of putting on the year-long celebration of the arts.
The money will be used to enhance and improve the city centre – such as refreshing public spaces and public art – ahead of the arrival of millions of visitors for City of Culture, and later the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The new research was initiated by the WMCA Cultural Leadership Board.
Its chair, Martin Sutherland, who is also chief executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:
“From a business perspective, the arts and cultural sector has been one of the worst impacted by the pandemic but despite this, we have worked together and with our stakeholders to produce this important piece of research.
“The Cultural Infrastructure Map together with the reports will be valuable tools for us when thinking about the next steps for our rich and diverse cultural sector.”
The map will benefit the sector by allowing arts and cultural organisations to identify the location of untapped audiences, venue capacities and provide information to help them to develop cases for funding of cultural projects.
The map was commissioned because there are gaps in the information and data available specifically about the cultural sector in the West Midlands.
Click here to check out the interactive map.