With a network of over 1000 artists and makers that were either born here or drawn here, Cornwall is the UK’s leading rural creative region.
Cornwall’s creative and cultural strategy, our Creative Manifesto, aims to consolidate and drive forward our standing and define both what a rural creative economy is, but also what it can be.
With a global reputation in visual arts and theatre, a dedicated creative industries university, a growing appeal for TV and film productions, plus world-class digital connectivity, we have all the potential to take centre stage. We did it in June 2021 when we successfully hosted the G7 summit in the middle of a global pandemic.
And as one of the first regions in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency, our commitment to delivering big things through a sustainable lens underpins Cornwall’s cultural conversation today.
But despite everything we have going for us, the social and economic context of Cornwall remains a challenge, and we are behind the majority of the UK on key economic measurements.
- With a low-wage economy and a shortage of affordable housing, 17 of our neighbourhoods are on the list of top 10% most deprived in the country – a hidden story of deprivation behind the picture-postcard narrative.
- Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has a higher than average proportion of people whose day-to-day lives are limited by a long term health condition or disability, equating to 114,023 or 21.33% of the population, much higher than the UK average.
- We know there are substantial racial disparities in the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people living in Cornwall. Data highlights the inequality relating to employment, with 1 in 11 black people in Cornwall unemployed (10.9%) compared to 2.8% of the white population. These disparities compound the potential for people from diverse communities to be seen, heard, and represented in leading roles within our culture.
- Young people impacted by poverty and rural isolation can have limited access to culture, digital technology and the natural environment. A failure to make these opportunities open to all is limiting our next generation.
To tackle the most critical issues of our time and make leaps towards a cultural legacy that’s inclusive, accessible, and sustainable, Cornwall needs year-round economic growth to help combat the inequalities and high levels of poverty and deprivation.
Being awarded the UK City of Culture 2025 will allow us to close the gap between the have and have-nots and foreground our potential by creating a constellation of cultural moments around the themes of People, Place and Planet.
Moments of shared humanity.
Moments of collective change.
Moments of hope and possibility.
Harnessing the Cornish way – of banding together, interconnecting disciplines, and making the impossible possible – our UK City of Culture 2025 programme will invite a layering of artistic, educational and community involvement in areas like climate change, sustainability, minority languages and culture, plus play, storytelling and learning.
As a Celtic nation with a global diaspora of millions, winning this accolade will instil a huge sense of pride in our people and shine a light on community issues across the four nations and beyond. It will also provide a platform to showcase our rich palette of places and stories, which in turn will attract audiences from near and far, giving Cornwall the credit it deserves.
Now that’s a prize worth winning for our community.