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Strategy launched to support the future of Glasgow’s cultural sector

Strategy launched to support the future of Glasgow’s cultural sector

© Brian Hartley stillmotionarts.

A new strategy that will support the future of Glasgow’s cultural sector has been revealed.

Glasgow’s Cultural Strategy 2024-30, approved by Glasgow City Council’s City Management Committee, is designed to enable culture to shape and build the future health, prosperity and sustainability of Glasgow and its people.

The strategy was co-created by Glasgow Life in partnership with Glasgow’s Culture Forum through engagement and consultation with the city’s cultural sector. The strategy has four priorities: Glasgow’s cultural profile; cultural participation; creative skills; and sustainability.

Glasgow’s cultural sector will come together to learn more about the Glasgow Cultural Strategy 2024-30 and Action Plan on Wednesday 10 July at The Social Hub. The Glasgow Cultural Forum will also invite sector representatives to express their interest in joining its working groups and contributing to its Action Plan.

Glasgow is a globally recognised cultural hub and was named the UK’s leading city of culture and creativity by the European Commission in 2019, as well as being named Britain’s first UNESCO City of Music in 2008. Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural and productive powerhouse – four of Scotland’s five national performing arts companies are based in the city.

Glasgow’s cultural appeal can be seen in the number of Scotland’s creatives who call the city home: 41% of its actors, dancers and presenters live in Glasgow, while 38% of the country’s musicians and 29% of its artists and graphic designers also reside in the city. Glasgow was also recently ranked as the seventh best city in Europe for a new creative career by Adobe Express, with many graduates choosing to remain in the city after finishing their studies.

The city boasts a wide cultural offering and is home to over 100 cultural organisations and over 20 museums and art galleries, including the 2023 Art Fund Museum of the Year, The Burrell Collection. In June, Glasgow Life’s Tramway venue hosted Turner Prize-nominated Delaine Le Bas’ Delainia: 17071965 Unfolding exhibition as part of the Glasgow International Festival.

Glasgow is renowned for its culture – almost 90% of Glaswegians take part in some form of cultural activity each year, with more people visiting the city’s museums each year than any other UK city outside of London. Glasgow’s Mitchell Library is also one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe, holding over a million items.

Glasgow is also home to some of the country’s best-known and most popular cultural events and festivals, including Celtic Connections, Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Aye Write, Glasgow International, Glasgow Mela, TRNSMT, Merchant City Festival and the World Pipe Band Championships.

Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council’s Coordinator for Culture, Sport and International Relations, said: “Culture makes a crucial contribution to Glasgow’s economy and attracts visitors to the city from near and far. Glasgow’s Cultural Strategy 2024-30 will ensure that culture and creativity continue to be valued and invested in. This strategy will help Glasgow share its distinctive Gallus culture with the world and invite others to share theirs with the city.”

“Thanks to the invaluable insights of Culture Forum members, the strategy focuses on key priorities, from supporting the city’s cultural profile and facilitating engagement in cultural activities, to developing creative skills, retaining talent and attracting and nurturing more young creatives in Glasgow. Sustainability is another vital part of this work; supporting Glasgow’s cultural sector to develop its green credentials will secure its future so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.”

Alastair Evans, Director of Strategy and Planning at Creative Scotland, said: “We very much welcome the publication of Glasgow’s Cultural Strategy and its commitment to a creative sector that is rooted in the city’s communities and has a national and international reach. The work of the Glasgow Cultural Forum has helped to ensure a meaningful and inclusive consultation that has shaped an ambitious and inspiring vision for the future.”

Moira Jeffrey, Director of the Scottish Contemporary Art Network and a member of the Culture Forum, said: “Glasgow’s incredible reputation for culture and creativity has been built by generations of artists and creative workers. We want our communities to be places where artists can live and work, and where new generations can learn and participate to experience the best of the benefits of culture. Glasgow’s new cultural strategy recognises the contributions of its artists and arts organisations and the steps we need to take to nurture and support them.”

Anita Clark, Director of The Work Room and Member of the Culture Forum, said: “Culture has always played a significant role in Glasgow’s civic history, but the last few years have been extremely difficult, and many of the city’s artists and artists’ organisations are now in a very precarious position. It is extremely welcome that, at this challenging time, Glasgow City Council has taken the bold step of endorsing a new cultural strategy for the city, embedding culture at the heart of Glasgow’s future plans and ambitions. The strategy is a starting point for galvanising deep engagement and collaborative working with independent artists and creative organisations, in partnership with the city council and Glasgow Life to ensure access to culture for all people in Glasgow.”

Lucy McEachan, Panel Co-Chair and Cultural Forum Representative for Craft and Design, said: “It has been a privilege to be included in the conversations surrounding the development of Glasgow’s new Cultural Strategy. As design curators with a practice firmly rooted in the city, we see this strategy as crucial to ensuring that cultural provision and access are prioritised in our collective thinking and action planning for the future.”

Glasgow’s Cultural Strategy 2024-30 can be read in full on the Glasgow Life website.

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Glasgow Life is a charity working for the benefit of the people of Glasgow. We believe that everyone deserves a great life in Glasgow and we find innovative ways to make this happen across the city’s diverse communities.

Our programmes, experiences and events range from grassroots community activities to large-scale cultural, arts and sporting events that put Glasgow on an international stage.

Our work is designed to promote inclusion, happiness and health, as well as supporting the city’s visitor economy, in order to improve Glasgow’s mental, physical and economic wellbeing.

For more information, visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk.

Media Contact

Jonathan Reilly – The Strongest Man

Communications Officer

Life in Glasgow

Email: (email protected)