Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall

Contact: Henry Downey, Democratic Services Officer  x6311

No. Item




            Apologies for inability to attend were reported on behalf of Alderman Haire and Councillors McAllister, Mullan and O’Donnell.



Declarations of Interest


            No declarations of interest were reported.



Draft Cultural Strategy 2020-2030 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0    Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues

 1.1     The purpose of this report is to present a draft of the Cultural Strategy 2020-2030 and seek approval to begin a formal twelve-week public consultation.


2.0      Recommendations


2.1      It is recommended that the Committee approve the draft strategy and agree to commence a twelve-week public consultation.     


3.0      Main Report


3.1      Background


Members will be aware that, in December 2018, the City Growth and Regeneration Committee agreed that officers proceed with the development of a new ten-year cultural strategy for the city.


3.2       The timing of this work was in response to a number of important developments and milestones including:


-       end of participation in the European Capital of Culture bidding process.

-       initial recommendations from a draft Festival and Events strategy.

-       current Cultural Framework due to end in March 2020.

-       current Tourism Strategy due to end in March 2020.

-       core multi-annual funding programme for arts and heritage organisations in the city due to end in March 2020.

-       tourism as a key strand in the Belfast Region City Deal including proposals for a new visitor attraction, the Destination Hub.


3.3       It was agreed that the strategy would build on the extensive public engagement carried out during the bid to become European Capital of Culture. Furthermore it would present an integrated approach to long-term cultural development in the city including:


-        a citizen focussed approach

-     consideration of the long-term sustainability of the cultural sector

-        a new approach to Events and Festivals

-        strengthening the tourism proposition in the city through greater understanding of the city’s cultural narrative and international appeal and

-     integration of planned major developments such as the Destination Hub into citywide tourism.


Key Issues


The Context


3.4       The global context for this strategy is the increasing recognition that cities of culture can drive transformation.Culture has a critical role in shaping great places through:


-       increasing cohesion and permeability

-       building identity and confidence

-       attracting investment

-       retaining talent and attracting talent back


3.5       The Belfast Agenda sets out a vision for 2035 that imagines a culturally vibrant city.  The purpose of the cultural strategy is to present a series of priorities that have the potential to contribute significantly to all five outcomes of the Belfast Agenda:


-       everyone in Belfast benefits from a thriving and prosperous economy

-       Belfast is a welcoming, safe, fair and inclusive city for all

-       everyone in Belfast fulfils their potential

-       everyone in Belfast experiences good health and wellbeing

-       Belfast is a vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally sustainable city


3.6       As well as supporting the Belfast Agenda, the strategy also responds to and helps to define the role of culture across other priority areas, including:


-       Local Development Plan

-       City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy

-       Good Relations Strategy

-       Open Spaces Strategy


3.7       This work has also taken into consideration Council’s involvement in 100 Resilient Cities. In addition,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Pilot Public Art Project pdf icon PDF 148 KB


The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0    Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       Members will recall that, at the Committee meeting on 12th September, 2018, it was agreed that a report be submitted to a future meeting outlining options for Belfast to take forward a public art project involving utility boxes similar to the Dublin Canvas project.


1.2       The purpose of this report is to set out a proposal for a pilot project including details of approach and required budget.


2.0      Recommendations


2.1      The Committee is requested to:


                                          i.     note the contents of this report and agree to progress a pilot project in the city centre and agree budget allocation; and

                                         ii.     agree to receive a future update and consider options for extending the project to include Belfast Rapid Transport route.


3.0      Main Report


3.1      Background


An initial request had been made for officers to investigate the potential for Belfast to deliver a public art project involving painting the utility boxes along the current BRT route. In parallel Council had also been in discussion about a similar project in the city centre working with theDestination CQ and Belfast One Business Improvement Districts. The BIDs had also had preliminary discussions with the utility providers. 


3.2       Following assessment of various options and evaluation of schemes elsewhere it is proposed that the project is piloted in two phases:


Phase 1: City Centre – retail core

Phase 2: Existing Belfast Rapid Transport route


3.3       The rationale for this is threefold:


·        the first phase of the pilot should focus on a smaller concentrated area in line with how other cities have successfully delivered similar projects

·        the secured support of the BIDs as project partners

·        alignment to ongoing City Centre Revitalisation programme


3.4       The aims of the project would be to:


·       create opportunities to animate the city

·       improve the look and feel of locations

·       celebrate Belfast’s street art culture

·       decrease incidences of graffiti/tagging, fly posting, and other anti-social behaviours associated with utility boxes

·       engage citizens in a creative programme, encouraging a sense of ownership over the city centre and their local area and

·       provide professional development opportunities for emerging/student artists.


Key Issues


3.5       Initial contact has been made with utility providers, BT, Virgin Media, and the Department for Infrastructure.   BT and Virgin Media are supportive of the project, and permission has been given in principle to progress.  The Department for Infrastructure are yet to grant their permission. However, there are sufficient private utility boxes in the main retail core of the city centre to deliver an effective project. It is hoped that a Council led and curated approach to the project would in turn convince DfI to consider involvement in a phase 2.


3.6       During April, May, and June, Belfast City Council will be in the Public Consultation phase of the new Cultural Strategy for 2020 – 2030.  It is hoped that this project could fit within the Public Consultation process, as a creative element of public engagement, in a similar format to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Standing Order 14


In accordance with Standing Order 14, the Committee agreed, as the meeting had been held later than seven clear days before the meeting of the Council, that the minutes of the meeting be submitted to the Council on 1st April for ratification.