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Mayor's office launches Culture, Arts and Heritage survey

Research project, co-ordinated by Opus, aims to identify what the South Yorkshire Mayor can do to support and nurture Culture, Arts and Heritage in the region.

CAST theatre Doncaster

CAST Theatre in Doncaster.

Johnson Cameraface

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is asking people and organisations working in Culture, Arts and Heritage (CAH) in South Yorkshire what support it can offer to the region's burgeoning sectors.

Part of a wider engagement project coordinated by Opus Independents, the company which published Now Then, a new survey is asking CAH workers and volunteers: What does the South Yorkshire Mayor’s office need to know about Culture, Arts and Heritage in the region?

While it acknowledges there are many cultural strengths and that unique work is happening in South Yorkshire, the Mayor's office has found that the region receives less grant funding and less investment for its Culture, Arts and Heritage sectors.

A recent report commissioned by the Mayor revealed that CAH accounted for only 0.5% of employment in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

The same report found that CAH activities make a huge contribution to the health and wellbeing of the region's residents, as well as having positive direct and indirect economic benefits.

The survey, which is live until 15 April, is aimed at people who work or volunteer in Culture, Arts and Heritage, from freelancers and volunteer artists to established organisations, large institutions and everyone in between. At the end of the process, ten random participants will win a £60 cash prize.

Kate Brindley, Director for Arts, Culture and Heritage at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “With our CAH sectors being so badly affected by the pandemic, this research is vital and will help us to make a real difference, not just to people in these sectors, but to our local communities too, who benefit when Culture, Arts and Heritage is thriving.”

Vicky Hilton, Creative Director of social enterprise Artful and founder of Rotherham Creative Network, who is working with Opus on the engagement project, said: “The project so far has allowed us to bring together partners, organisations and freelancers to have important discussions and have a voice in the regional developments of the Culture, Arts and Heritage sector.

“The work feeds into our core principles as an arts organisation and will help us to develop a collective voice which we see as being an important legacy as part of the project.”

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