The Fire Within Cultural Manifesto emerged from a detailed consultation with cultural sector partners and community groups commissioned by Wigan Council, supported by Arts Council England, and researched by expert consultants Maria Brewster, Debbie Chan and Sue Potts. Their research mapped what cultural activity was already taking place and looked at how improvements could be made to attract large scale funding, develop a network of artists and increase resident participation in the arts, heritage and culture.
Five themes were formulated by artists, cultural organisations and community groups to focus and ignite their collective energy across the five years to develop culture and deliver improvements linked to health and wellbeing, economy and tourism.
Themes for each year include:
Internationally renowned and locally based artists Al and Al then transformed this work into a visually stunning document that has acted as the framework for the borough's creative transformation.
A new Culture, Arts & Heritage Team was formed to work alongside the many existing cultural, arts and community organisations to enable and facilitate delivery of ambitions within the Manifesto. Funding to support the delivery of the new Cultural Manifesto was agreed by senior council leaders and politicians.
To date the work completed is already making a significant contribution to our long-term aims. Programmes of work in Wigan Borough have shown real benefits to our residents and communities whilst contributing to a shift in perception, with the borough now recognised for its re-energised cultural offer and creative talent.
For all enquiries: TheFireWithin@wigan.gov.uk