Let Uttlesford District Council hear your voice for culture, creativity and the arts

Uttlesford District Council is working on developing a comprehensive 'baseline assessment' of culture, creativity and the arts to inform the Local Plan process. If you work or take part in the cultural, creative or arts sectors as an amateur or professional, the council would like to hear from you.

A simple digital survey has been set up and responses will help shape future investment priorities in Uttlesford, linked to potential developments over the Local Plan period.

The Cultural Engine, an Essex-based social enterprise that develops social, economic and cultural projects, has been appointed to manage this process and provide support in engaging with as many organisations, groups and individuals across the district as possible.

The assessment will capture the wide range of arts and cultural activity that currently takes place in Uttlesford and help to identify how residents engage in and benefit from cultural and creative activities. It will also identify the needs and ambitions of creative and cultural groups and practitioners. This is the start of a programme of work which aims to enable greater community collaboration, funding and promotion of creativity and the arts.

Cllr Alexander Armstrong, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure, Education and the Arts, said: "Culture, creativity and the arts are important to Uttlesford in so many ways. We want to develop a better understanding of the creative sectors across the district and the role they play in supporting positive outcomes for our communities.

"Cultural activity creates opportunities for social interaction and encourages people to participate and collaborate, and this is clearly good for health and wellbeing and for bringing people together. Culture and the arts are also important to our visitor economy, supporting hospitality sectors and ensuring our many towns and villages are interesting places to live in and visit with a strong sense of local identity.

"Economically, the creative sectors also provide high skilled and high-value jobs, helping the district remain competitive, retaining a skilled workforce with opportunities for younger people. The more information and insight we gather from the surveys and wider consultation, the better we can understand what kind of support might be needed over the next few years and beyond." 

The survey, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FJYZYTS is intended to make it easy for organisations, groups and individuals to respond. It will be open throughout September, October and November.

Within the survey you can express an interest in getting more involved, for example taking part in a number of in-person and online workshops that will take place across Great Dunmow, Thaxted and Saffron Walden and other locations in October and November (more detail on this will be published on the survey pages).