The new scheme is designed to encourage a shared vision around the arts, bringing together a range of partners to embed culture at the heart of the community, as well as encouraging investment and untapping economic potential.
Morecambe Bay has been awarded the status thanks to a joint submission by the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region (LSCER) partners – South Lakeland District Council, Lancaster City Council and Barrow Borough Council.
The bid focused on one of the LSCER’s key themes – Culture, Creative, and Visitor Economy – and the potential of the area’s natural and built environment, the Lake District World Heritage Site, Eden Project North, creative industries, arts and festivals, and the visitor economy.
The existing LSCER partnership will now bring together partner organisations to pilot a model which connects the three localities’ distinct and different cultural assets to boost future creativity, investment, innovation, jobs and prosperity. A Morecambe Bay Culture Compact Partnership will be formed to develop the vision, membership, partnership and purpose, and champion the project.
Coun Jean Parr, Lancaster City Council’s cabinet member for arts, culture, leisure and tourism, said: “Pulling together the wealth of cultural expertise on offer in our region in this way will generate enormous strategic advantages and give Morecambe Bay the opportunity to showcase its cultural diversity and foster future innovation and economic prosperity.”
Alison Clark, the Arts Council’s Director for the North region, added: “We believe that arts and culture play an essential role in improving lives and wellbeing, developing communities and unlocking the economic potential for towns and cities.”