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Creativity in Community-Led Planning

Date uploaded: May 22, 2013

Creativity in Community-Led Planning in Dorset is a new initiative, launched this week, aimed at putting arts and culture into the heart of the Neighbourhood Planning process. It is a guide produced by the Dorset Design and Heritage Forum for community organisations making a plan in Dorset, but it is nationally relevant. As arts and culture continue to suffer from diminishing resources and a lack of investment and planning for the future, the guide sets out ways of making the most of local resources:

  • How to work with creative practitioners and where to find them
  • Carrying out a cultural audit
  • Making consultation creative to bring on board hard to reach groups like young people

Oliver Letwin MP and Government Policy Minister says that this guidance is crucial for everyone starting a new Plan: “This guidance suggests how those undertaking the neighbourhood planning process can unlock this often hidden asset and make the most of the talents of artists, craftspeople and designers to engage people in looking at the place that they call home in a new way. As such it is something which should be considered at the start of any planning exercise and can add enormous value to the end result.”

Janet Page, Chair of the Dorset Association of Town and Parish Councils says: “We are delighted to see that this innovative work encouraging creativity in the planning process is happening in the county.”

The guidance has been launched alongside an innovative pilot scheme where artists We Made That worked with local groups on a cultural audit for the Neighbourhood Planning process in Gillingham, Dorset. Key findings from this pilot and workshops were that:

  • Culture is integral to the neighbourhood planning process, should be considered at the outset and cuts across transport, housing, education, the whole neighbourhood planning process.
  • Planning authorities across the country need to use this guidance and local culture needs to be considered as a prerequisite to designing our towns and villages.
  • There is an economic case for creativity in planning as it supports the arts and creative industries, which make up 0.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product nationally (1).

The guidance is available for free download (see link below).

This is an N3 (Nature, Network, Neighbourhood) project managed by Ginkgo Projects on behalf of the Dorset Design and Heritage Forum, funded by Arts Council England and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Click here for more information and to access your free download.