Mayor’s foreword 5Executive summary 7Introduction 17 1 Maintaining London’s position 33as a world city for culture




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The changing policy landscapeA number of signicant changes in government policy and agencies have been announced during the consultation process for the strategy. These changes have included the abolition or restructuring of national cultural agencies, such as the UK Film Council and Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), and also government arrangements for London. In particular, the London Development Agency will cease to exist by March 2012, with the Mayor proposing that its economic development and regeneration functions be reorganised within the GLA itself, and also with the Homes and Communities Agency, giving the Mayor more direct control and electoral accountability over investment. The Cultural Strategy reflects the situation as of autumn 2010, although further announcements over the forthcoming months are likely.Integration with other Mayoral strategiesThe Cultural Strategy is one of twelve Mayoral statutory strategies, and sits alongside the London Plan, and strategies for Transport, Economic Development and others, many of which have been developed over the same period and are going through a similar process of consultation. The Cultural Strategy has been informed by the development of these documents, and also in turn informs and supports them. Many issues of critical importance and interest to the cultural sector, for instance planning regulations or specialist support for businesses, may actually be more fully addressed in other strategies rather than the Cultural Strategy, and close coordination has taken place to ensure that culture is well represented in these, and that together they provide a coherent framework for supporting culture in London. For those interested in the range of issues discussed in these strategies, you are directed towards: www.london.gov.uk/shaping-londonThe Mayor’s plans for SportThe Mayor’s plans for sport, as outlined in A Sporting Future for London, are summarised here and can be downloaded at: www.london.gov.uk/archive/mayor/publications/2009/docs/sporting-future-2009.pdf A Sporting Future for London A crucial element of London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was a commitment to use the Games to transform the country’s sporting landscape – driving up participation in sports and engaging with young people to help tackle issues such as obesity, ill health and crime. This is particularly important for London, a city with wide variation in levels of participation in sports, a prevalence of obesity and a number of socio-economic factors that make it difcult to deliver grass roots sport and physical activity. The Mayor has therefore published a dedicated strategy for sport, A Sporting Future for London in April 2009, which complements his statutory strategies. It outlines his plans to help secure a sporting legacy for London, and to ensure that the physical assets resulting from the Olympic and Paralympic Games are complemented by a sustained increase in participation and the tackling of deep-seated social problems. The strategy is based around four main legacy goals, each associated with more detailed deliverables and resource allocation:Get more people activeTransform the sporting infrastructureBuild capacity and skillsMaximise the benet of sport to our societyIn order to help deliver these objectives, the Mayor is over-seeing a £15.5 million programme of investment in community sport. This is to be match funded by a number of partners, meaning a total of over £30 million is to be invested in London by 2012. The bulk of the Mayor’s investment is now being distributed through three broad streams:Facilities: Up to £7m to be invested on a range of facilities. Awards may be used to ll funding gaps in larger projects, or as primary funding for smaller community or estate-based projects. In total around 60 awards will be made.Skills: Up to £3m to be invested in training for a range of skills in the sport and leisure sector, including coaching, volunteering and club management. We are also engaging in partnership work with organisations that provide holistic training programmes to take NEET Londoners right through to employment.Participation: Up to £4m to be invested in programmes that increase participation in sport, with a particular focus on targeting inactive people. This fund will also be used to support some innovative programmes that use sport to help tackle wider social issues such as crime, unemployment etc.In addition to these three streams the Mayor is also operating the Free Sport small grants fund which provides grants of up to £1500 to around 240 clubs and community groups each year, to allow them to provide free sports coaching to Londoners. Central to the Mayor’s approach to community sport is an acknowledgement of the good practice that exists and of the need to work in partnership with the local, sub-regional and national bodies already active in this area. The Mayor will therefore be looking to provide co-ordination and increased collaboration across London, using funds and strategic influence in order to bring a range of partners together to address common aims in the run up to 2012, from across government and the third sector.The full document and further details on all the Mayor’s ongoing sports programmes and funding streams is available at www.london.gov.uk 1. Maintaining London’s position as a world city for culture 1.1 London: cultural metropolis of the 21st centurySo great are London’s cultural assets that it is easy to take them for granted. On a daily basis, Londoners read their newspaper on the bus, not looking up as they pass architectural wonders, world-renowned galleries, museums and famous heritage sites. It should come as no surprise that seven out of ten tourists cite culture as the reason for choosing to visit London, or that almost as many visitors come to London each year as visits to New York and Paris combined2. A key factor in London winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was its outstanding cultural and creative sector. One of the distinctive features of London’s cultural sector is the extent of both its commercial and publicly subsidised riches. In this regard, London is akin to only a tiny handful of other world cities. Comparisons with other cities generally tend to be flawed, and beset by problems of denitions and measurement. It is still instructive however to compare London alongside the other great world cities in order to get a sense of the size and richness of its cultural life. As the table below shows, on a range of important indicators, London is almost in a class of its own. This has been sustained by considerable investment in the cultural fabric of London over the last 15 years, with the Heritage Lottery Fund investing £238 million in 13 of the top 20 major attractions in London, from Kew Gardens to HMS Belfast3. At the same time, through the opening of Tate Modern in 2000, Kings Place concert hall in 2008 and the refurbishment of Royal Festival Hall and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London’s cultural venues have increased in number, scale and quality to showcase some of the world’s greatest artistic talent.As well as being home to many national treasures, four historic cathedrals and hundreds of famous museums, libraries, galleries, heritage sites and universities, London can also lay claim to being central to global, cutting edge contemporary culture. For many people around the world, London is appealing because of its popular culture and creative industries, and the lively and informal commercial activity which exists, for example, in the live music scene in Camden, the bookshops on Charing Cross Road, the bars and clubs of Shoreditch, or major sports and concert venues like Wembley and the O2. As the table below makes clear, in comparisons with other world cities, London scores equally impressively on this count.London as a national and international hubMuch of London’s creative vitality stems from its role as a global hub; it is a key site of exchange for talent, capital, goods and services. This has arguably been London’s historic economic role for the last four centuries. Since the advent of international trade, London has always been at the centre, providing brokerage services and bringing together buyers and sellers, investors and entrepreneurs, whether the market was for linen and silk, tea and sugar or manufactured goods. In many ways, London performs the same role for the world’s creative economy today. As well as being a source of creative production, the capital is also home to the vital sector intermediaries including publishers, exhibitors, commissioners, distributors, nanciers, brokers and agents. This history of commercial exchange has been accompanied by the coming together of peoples, businesses, visitors and students. Waves of migration, a favourable regulatory environment and a spirit of openness and commercial freedoms are all factors which have helped ensure that London has attracted many of the most talented and entrepreneurial individuals from around the world. London repeatedly scores highly in international benchmarks of competitiveness and as a business location, and this is in large part due to the skills and knowledge of its population. The table below ranks cities around the world on the basis of their ‘human capital’ – using a number of factors, such as levels of educational qualication, in order to rank cities on the basis of their intellectual capacity.In the specic context of the cultural and creative industries, much of its competitive advantage stems from the cosmopolitan character of the city. London vies with New York as the most diverse city in the world, with several hundred languages and more than a hundred ethnic minority communities containing 10,000 people or more. It is this variety of cultures and styles that drives much of the dynamism and innovation in the sector. Whether it is fashion designers incorporating ethnically distinct textiles and motifs into their designs, the emergence of new genres of urban music, or the involvement of thousands of artists from around the world in London’s many different arts festivals. There are many in the cultural sector that are keen to maximise the benets of this diversity in London, and the GLA works closely with strategic and funding bodies to support this. Through the LDA, it has supported numerous projects that showcase different cultures in the city, such as the recently opened Tabernacle Arts in Notting Hill, and the construction of the new centres for the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. The GLA also works closely with partners in the cultural sector to explore how policy can reflect the ongoing debates about diversity. For instance, the Heritage Diversity Task Force which was set up under the previous Mayoral administration has been undertaking seminars and conferences for the last three years, as a result of which the report Embedding Shared Heritage was published in 2009. This report explores the complexity of the arguments around identity, ethnic diversity, workforce representation and narrative with regards to heritage, and has already begun to make a valuable contribution to debates in the sector. The GLA must also listen to changing opinion about diversity policies in culture and recognise growing concerns about how these work in practice, ensuring that artists and audiences are not ‘pigeon-holed’ or restricted by institutions and policy-makers. As well as people coming to live and work in London, the capital also brings overseas visitors in huge numbers. As the gures below show, London is by some margin the most visited city in the world, signicantly more than the second-most visited, and receiving twice as many international tourists as it has residents. London’s universities are also successfully attracting students from around the world in what is increasingly becoming a global market. This is important not just in terms of how much revenue it brings into London, estimated to be approximately £1.5bn4, but also because it is often the initial experience of studying at a London university that can form the basis for a lifelong connection with the city, long after visiting students have returned to develop careers and businesses in their own countries.Such is the scale of London’s assets, the strength of its creative economy and its international prole, it can sometimes be forgotten that, above and beyond all of this, it is the national capital, and that many of London’s greatest cultural institutions belong to everyone in the UK. Certain commentators have recently described their fears of a new ‘Edwardian’ age for London5, in which it would increasingly detach itself from the rest of the country, and become more and more like its own city-state. While some Londoners might welcome this, delighting in the city’s cosmopolitan distinctiveness, this distancing of London from the rest of the UK would be neither to the advantage of London or the country’s cultural sector. Just as London has developed a strong relationship with other world cities such as Beijing and Delhi, so it could also benet from a closer relationship with other cities and regions in the UK. In 2012, there is a greater opportunity than ever, through new technology, to have simultaneous celebrations in London and around the country for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There is also value in recognising the distinct role London plays in the UK creative economy, by virtue of its highly specialised labour market, closer links to nance and business, and more developed international supply chains. London has therefore established itself as a global creative hub; however, it must also draw on a national pool of skilled labour, creative talent and entrepreneurial energy. For this reason, the Mayor will continue to advocate the importance of sustaining investment in London and its cultural sector, to ensure it can full its role as a national capital. The relationship between creativity and commerceIt is partly a consequence of London’s growing pre-eminence as a nancial global centre that the cultural and creative industries in the city have grown in scale and status. London’s creative industries are both a driver and a consequence of its broader economic success. In recent decades London has acquired a share of 70 per cent of the world’s secondary bond market and half the derivatives market. According to European Cities Monitor, it remains the top European city for business location, with established strengths in its skilled labour force, access to markets and international transport links. Whilst there may be tensions between culture and commerce, it is hard to deny that economic development is often the driver behind private philanthropy and commercial sponsorship of arts and culture, and that this has been of considerable benet to London in the last two decades. Today’s great creative capitals of the world – London, New York, Tokyo and others – are also global centres for industry, nance and commercial exchange. It has always been thus. In the Renaissance Italian city-states or Victorian Britain’s flowering of public museums and libraries, the world of business was not a barrier to a cultural life, but rather its sustenance. Whether it is through taxation revenues, personal philanthropy (worth £363 million a year to the UK cultural sector6 in 2009), business sponsorship, capital investment, supply chain activities or simply the large numbers of what the Work Foundation has called ‘apex consumers’ purchasing new and innovative cultural products, London’s business and nancial services sector has been critical to the growth of its cultural sector. The relationship between commerce and culture goes both ways, and just as the latter has beneted from London’s economic success, so the subsidised artistic, cultural and heritage offer of a city can bring tremendous benet to businesses. As manufacturing has declined and London has become increasingly a centre for global professional services, so the role of creativity and culture has taken on a heightened importance. As with cities such as New York and Paris, London’s cultural environment has become a signicant factor in its competitive advantage. This is something clearly recognised by Londoners themselves – according to the GLA’s survey, 87per cent of respondents agree that the city’s ‘cultural scene’ plays a signicant role in ensuring a strong economy.With labour and capital moving more freely across the globe, and with an increasing number of locations and regulatory regimes to consider basing themselves in, a city’s cultural offer can be decisive. Studies show that modern service-led businesses, whether large multinationals or start-ups, locate where they can nd the specialist talents and skills they require. The City of London’s 2005 study on the competitiveness of global centres identied ‘availability of skilled personnel’ as the most important factor in determining competitiveness. It is the cultural offer of a city that partly attracts and retains such personnel. In this regard, London’s cultural sector is one of its prime assets, and ensuring that there is combination of prestigious, world-class institutions alongside a more informal ecology of smaller venues, festivals, events and night-time economy activities is key to both the Mayor’s economic and cultural policies for London.It should also be recognised that London’s publicly subsidised cultural organisations have a huge role to play in terms of its commercial creative industries success with 41% of all plays in the West End in 2009 starting life in the subsidised sector7. As Dame Judi Dench remarked ‘The health of our lm industry depends on the health of our theatre’. It has also been pointed out that many of those who enjoyed worldwide acclaim at the Academy Awards in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire started out and learnt their craft in the publicly funded performing arts sector. While the BBC, with its strong tradition of training and professional development, has long been identied as key to the international success of the UK’s commercial lm and television sector8.Ironically, national government policies for the cultural sector which are xated on instrumental arguments and measurements risk leading to an underestimation and misunderstanding of the actual long-term social and economic value of the subsidised cultural sector. Recent work on innovation suggests the importance of the public domain9 as a space in which creativity can flourish in an atmosphere of trust, openness and mutual tolerance. These ‘interpretative spaces’, which principally include educational institutions, amateur organisations and the publicly subsidised arts sector, do not naturally emerge in market economies and it is the role of public funding to help create them. Rather than simply providing the kinds of goods and services produced by the creative industries, the role of public funding for culture is closer to that of research and development, providing risk funding and the freedom to experiment that markets nd it difcult to maintain. This boldness and freedom needs to be encouraged, unencumbered by over-prescriptive conditions, expectations and targets, if we are to enable creative and commercial success.
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