Headlines: May 14th, 1999

The economic strategies of local councils have long influenced town hall decision making even though an issue under discussion may have fallen outside the economic arena. The status of culture is now being raised so that it will be taken into account when deciding on non cultural issues. Fourteen councils from a representative spread across the UK have been selected to pilot the development of local cultural strategies.

The process of developing strategies will allow communities to play an active role in identifying local priorities and setting the cultural agenda. Strategies will address such issues as the development of tourism, sporting and leisure services, and other artistic, and recreational activities. The cultural plans which will flow from the strategies will be published. Learning from the pilots will then inform the full-scale role out of cultural strategies.