City aims for international cultural status

Casket bearers in the demi paradise production of The Merchant of Venice in the Shire Hall at Lancaster Castle
Casket bearers in the demi paradise production of The Merchant of Venice in the Shire Hall at Lancaster Castle
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Plans to put the Lancaster district on the international arts and cultural map by 2020 will include a “significant outdoor event”.

Lancaster district has the highest level of engagement in the arts in Lancashire with three theatres, 53 music venues, 20 art galleries, 10 venues for visiting and open mike comedy acts, and three cinemas.

The new seven year framework for the arts in the district – 20:20 Vision – has been agreed by Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster Arts Partners in consultation with the local arts community.

It was launched recently at The Hothouse, the home of Morecambe based community music and education charity More Music.

The framework wants to see the Lancaster district recognised as a beacon for the arts, creating a significant step change in the city’s offer as a visitor destination, place to learn and quality area to live and work.

It also aims to see Morecambe develop into an arts and festival town and to encourage young people to remain in the district because of its arts and culture.

The plans included in the 20:20 Vision Framework are:

Increasing the number of arts events including a significant free outdoor event aimed to attract a total of 100,000 people, supporting and nurturing career development and work opportunities for young people, creating 60 new commissions annually, hosting at least 20 internationally renowned artists to arts, education and civic institutions, producing 10 additional projects for young people each year and at least one major youth arts festival, encouraging investment in the arts by health, education, social services and local authorities, re-instigating Lancaster Design Awards and commissioning 20 new works with a digital dimension annually.

Five hundred 16-18-year-olds in the district are on arts courses at local colleges and the area’s two universities attract students nationally and from overseas to arts courses.