The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has provided further information on its proposed Culture White Paper, what the heritage sector should expect, and how it can become involved.
What can we expect?
According to the DCMS blog, the Culture White Paper is set in the context of the Government not taking an overview on the culture sector and the its role in supporting it since the publication of the Labour Minister Jennie Lee's White Paper on the Arts in 1964 [see Guardian article].
It is important to note that the Culture White Paper is not expected to become a Government Bill, but instead should be considered as a strategy for the whole sector. It has been suggested that the likely publication date of the paper will be three months after the Comprehensive Spending Review, meaning a publication date of February 2016 should be expected.
The paper is now expected to cover four main themes:
1) Places: how culture helps to create places that are attractive and vibrant and how we will support places that want to use culture to drive development and regeneration. This section will cover how heritage is protected, managed, and made accessible; the diversity of heritage; heritage’s contribution to the economy and general wellbeing and the benefits of strategic investment in heritage.
2) People: how culture benefits people in their individual and everyday lives, how we will improve access and participation, and use culture in wider social agendas, such as education, health and well-being. This section will cover heritage participation; heritage education programmes; the sector’s digital offer; and heritage crime.
3) Funding: how government will help and support cultural organisations to increase philanthropy and access funding from new sources, and reform public bodies to ensure they are fit for the future. This section will cover Heritage at Risk; grant schemes; the role of the HLF, new ways of working and opportunities for philanthropy.
4) Cultural Diplomacy: how culture contributes to the UK’s international reputation and soft power and how we will build on the current position to ensure that culture continues to support and contribute to our trade, exports and influence. This section will cover world heritage sites; underwater cultural heritage; the promotion of the value of cultural heritage; Britain’s heritage in the media; the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict and Illicit trade.
How does the sector get involved?
DCMS is running a series of high-level round-table events with key members of the sector throughout Autumn 2015 which shall help feed into the process of creating the strategy.
You are invited to comment through Twitter using #ourculture and can get involved with the debate on the digital platform by adding an idea or commenting or voting on others. The subject for discussion will change every few weeks.
On its ourculture my places map, DCMS has also created a category on historic buildings and museums, and is asking the public to sign up and tag their local sites.
Ed Vaizey has also launched the first #OurCulture challenge called our Places Challenge, asking the public to share and discuss ideas on how culture and heritage can shape vibrant, healthy communities across the country. DCMS is asking the public to share ideas on how cultural organisations, funding providers and local authorities can work together at a local or regional level to champion the rich culture their area has to offer.
If you would prefer to send in a written response or case study to the DCMS team, this can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9th December 2015.
Where can you find more information?