Argyll and Bute Council want to find ways to build on the area’s rich cultural, heritage, arts and Gaelic assets. An independent assessment was commissioned which produced an action plan for culture, heritage and arts to define their development and sustainability
The action plan shows there are 844 people working in the arts and creative industries in Argyll and Bute, almost 2% of the economically active population. They in turn employ a further 924 people, and involve 2,741 volunteers. The industries collectively have an annual turnover of in excess of £63million.
The council’s Policy Lead for Community and Culture, Councillor Robin Currie, said, “Our culture, heritage, arts, and Gaelic language and music are an intrinsic part of what defines Argyll and Bute’s identity, character and appeal. There is huge potential to develop these assets and their contribution to our cultural tourism and their support of the economy of Argyll and Bute.
“At present people in Argyll and Bute who work in the creative sector represent one percent of the Scottish total – we wish to increase that. People keep our communities thriving, and by identifying and developing the many pockets of brilliance we have, we can build on them. Through support and encouragement we can help increase their uniqueness and competitiveness.”
The creative and arts sector creates opportunities for self-expression, cooperation and collaboration in rural and remote areas, the report concludes, contributing to the well being and vibrancy of our communities.
Many local people contributed to the research for the action plan and the results will be discussed at a meeting which will take place at a Cultural Assembly in Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall on Thursday 18 June from 11.00am until 3.00pm.
If you would like to attend the meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 5 June. Alternatively you can telephone 01586 559068.
The council’s Community Services Committee approved and adopted the strategy which can be read in full at http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s88061/Culture%20Heritage%20and%20Arts%20Action%20Plan%20-%20Final%20March%202014.pdf
The committee also agreed to appoint an elected member to the Cultural Assembly which was initiated by the council in 2013. The council will participate in, but not chair, the assembly.