A VISION aimed to make Basingstoke and Deane a renowned centre for culture and the arts has been launched.
The Enriching Lives: Culture at the Heart of our Community action plan was approved by the borough council’s decision-making cabinet at a recent meeting.
It aims to put arts, heritage and culture at the forefront of the borough’s identity over the next decade.
Cabinet member for housing, regeneration, arts and heritage, Cllr Terri Read said: “It is amazing how much art and culture is created and enjoyed in the borough and this year’s Basingstoke Festival showcased that more than ever.
“This strategy clearly sets out an aspiration to continue to develop the creative icons of the future.
“It aims to further enhance and develop our cultural significance, both locally and nationally, and make sure that everyone has a chance to benefit from the enrichment of everyday life that art and culture brings to the borough.”
As well as the improvement to facilities in the town centre, the vision also aims to encourage schools to engage with culture, grow rural arts, social inclusion and opportunities to allow local creative businesses to thrive.
Sustainable creative organisations will also be able to benefit from support.
Cllr Reid said the Basingstoke Festival was one of the driving forces behind the vision and its spirit will be kept all year-long with even more arts events on throughout the year.
The vision will also build upon what culture is already in Basingstoke.
Cllr Reid said: “From the pop-up performances in a shop in Church Street to the first outdoor screening in the War Memorial Park, the breadth of new arts and culture created for the festival is continually growing.
“We already have world-class performance venues attracting international attention, heritage sites of significant importance, a brilliant programme of events, hugely talented artists and thriving cultural organisations.
“The Born in the Borough theme for this year’s festival reflected our pride in local culture, especially Jane Austen’s lasting legacy as one local creative genius.”