Agenda item


(A report by Lydia Rusling, Assistant Director for Economic Growth)


Portfolio Holder: Cllr Richard Austin





1.         That the formal adoption of the Cultural Framework for Renewal be supported.

2.         That delegated authority be granted to the Assistant Director – Economic Growth, in consultation with the portfolio holder, Councillor Richard Austin, for any final amendments to be made and incorporated into the final document for publication on the Council’s website.

3.         That the extension of the work to reflect the Partnership with South Holland be supported.

4.         That the submission of the Expression of Interest for National Portfolio Organisation status with Arts Council England be noted.


Portfolio Holders and Officer


Cllr Richard Austin







Councillor Richard Austin introduced a report by the Assistant Director – Economic Growth,

setting out the background to the development of a new Cultural Framework for Boston and East Lindsey.


The report stated that the Arts Council England (ACE) had awarded funding to both Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council to support the development of Cultural Strategies.  Following the Strategic Alliance between the two Councils in 2020 it had been agreed to align the two strategies and an extension to the work was granted to ensure a connected approach to both projects.


Set against the backdrop of Covid recovery and a new South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership, the Cultural Framework sought to build on the significant progress achieved in recent years to support cultural activity, build capacity and demonstrate commitment to excellence and innovation in cultural infrastructure, partnership and programming.


The Framework aligned with the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper and funding opportunities of Cultural Investment through Town Deals and Levelling Up Funds.  It was also symbiotic with policy for the visitor economy and the ambition for culture to support the communities’ health and well-being.


Both Boston and East Lindsey had been designated as Arts Council Priority Places, areas where there was significant potential but also where multiple barriers had historically stood in the way of system-wide cultural renewal.  The area’s ageing population and sustained loss of younger talent; limited transport inks; health and well-being indicators; fragmented communities; and lack of critical mass in a range of industries were commonly identified as challenging features or barriers to cultural development.


Consultation through a programme of workshops and interviews had informed the draft Cultural Framework, attached at Appendix A of the report, which had proposed four strategic themes emerging from the consultation and research:-


  • Culture for All;
  • Health and Well-being;
  • Cultural Infrastructure; and
  • Cultural Places


Full details of the consultation undertaken and responses were set out in the report.


Feedback from the Arts Council England had been formally received and integrated into the draft Cultural Framework.  The amendments included a refreshed vision, further alignment with the ACE strategy ‘Let’s Create’, definition of culture to include everyday culture, emphasis on data and a refined governance model to reflect the National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) Expression of Interest already submitted.


The NPO funding would support a programme of art and culture across the Partnership, as well as enabling an education, research and skills programme to be developed.  Details were set out in appendix B of the report.


It was noted adoption of the Cultural Framework would align with the Council’s Corporate Strategy supporting Boston as a place where people wanted to live, work and visit.


Noting that the Framework document was in draft, it was suggested that the design, layout and format could be improved as some parts were difficult to read in its current form, particularly those pages which had a light colour background and light text.


















Supporting documents: