A Place-based Arts and Cultural Strategy

A key priority for Exeter Culture is the commissioning of the first Place-based Arts & Cultural Strategy for the city. The Strategy will be co-owned by Exeter City Council, ensuring that culture is embedded in the plans that will shape Exeter in the future. Culture is one of the five priorities in the City Council’s five-year strategic plan, acknowledging it as a significant contributor to the city’s prosperity and growth.

An update on the Cultural Strategy consultation & launch…

Exeter Culture commissioned Tom Fleming Associates in autumn 2018 to develop a place-based Cultural Strategy for Exeter. There have been a series of themed workshops across the city, individual meetings, telephone conversations and opportunities for feedback across a range of platforms. The final workshop (focusing on culture and wellbeing) took place at the beginning of March. Tom and colleagues are now creating a draft, which will be reviewed and confirmed by May. We hope to launch the strategy with partners towards the end of May or early June. Please do watch this space for details of the launch, which will be announced soon.

Following a rigorous tendering process, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy has been commissioned to produce the new Strategy. TFCC has an international reputation for delivering strategy and policy leadership across the creative, cultural and arts sectors:

Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy (TFCC) welcomes the opportunity to lead this important research and consultation to develop a place-based arts and cultural strategy for Exeter. This is an exciting, ambitious and vital intervention for Exeter as an impressive mix of partners – Exeter Culture – seek to develop a distinctive and compelling vision, offer and plan that puts culture at the heart of the economic and social future of Exeter.

We know from our work for the University of Exeter and our portfolio of activities across the region, that there is growing activity and a determination to use culture and creativity to improve the vitality, distinctiveness and cohesion of Exeter. The quality of place is undoubted and the city is also becoming known for its inventive approach to partnership – from the University’s growing track record for knowledge exchange, to the work of the Business Improvement District, and now Exeter Culture. Such approaches will power creativity and drive positive economic and social change, helping Exeter to develop as a spike of culture, creativity and innovation
— Dr. Tom Fleming, Director

TFCC’s recent work for the University of Exeter – scoping how it can help drive growth across the South West – makes them well-versed in the strategic opportunities and challenges for the city. Other recent projects include cultural strategies for Bristol, Preston, Lincoln and Brighton.

The team offers unparalleled international experience in cultural and creative industries strategy, partnership development and research. Building on this existing experience and strong connections in the area, the team will begin an open consultation and baseline mapping process across Exeter this autumn. A programme of workshops, in-depth research and stakeholder engagement will take place and these findings will influence the development of a comprehensive set of recommendations. The final strategy is due to be delivered in early 2019.



About Tom Fleming
Creative Consultancy

Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy is the UK’s leading international culture and creative economy consultancy and research agency.  Set up in 2002, it offers strategy and policy leadership through research, evaluation, collaboration and advocacy, and has played a formative role in cultural and creative economy policy and strategy development for cities across the world.

With a portfolio spanning over 80 countries, 200 cities and countless institutions and creative details, TFCC’s technical expertise and strategic thinking helps position culture and creativity at the heart of society. For a list of projects, please see www.tfconsultancy.co.uk

Exeter Culture is pleased to be working with Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy to deliver this project.

This Arts and Culture Strategy will be developed against the wider strategic context of existing approved strategies in the City Council and other partners to ensure long-term legacy and delivery. It will be created through consultation ensuring residents, visitors, venues and businesses are engaged with the process, and those communities currently not engaged with arts and culture are consulted. In a city with a fast-growing younger demographic, Exeter Culture is working with key partners to encourage representation by young people.

The Arts and Culture Strategy for Exeter will:

  • Outline the current state of creative and cultural provision and delivery in Exeter

  • Reflect the needs of people who live and work in the city and its existing infrastructure where space is at a premium

  • Consider Exeter’s regional, national and international role and aim to develop its reputation as a cultural destination

  • Describe a vision for arts and culture in the city for the next 5 to 10 years

  • Identify the priority objectives resulting from this vision

  • Identify how the city will deliver this vision and these key objectives with the buy-in of the necessary partners and specific KPIs

  • Identify three possible options with milestones and funding for key projects to take forward immediately. These projects will take account of partners’ and practitioners’ ability to deliver before March 2020, funding, space and opportunity available as well as ability to build on existing activity in the city.

It is expected that the Strategy will provide the catalyst for a sustainable cultural programme and the development of appropriate cultural infrastructure (physical and human) to support the objectives and vision identified in this strategy and as a result of consultation.