Winchester: Cultural Capital

Winchester City Council is inviting all those in the cultural and creative industries in the Winchester District to a conference on Friday 28 February (9am to 1.30pm) at the Middle Brook Centre in Winchester City Centre.

The free conference is to launch the Council’s new strategy: Culture, Innovation and the Winchester Economy. The strategy aims to realise Winchester’s ambition to be a vibrant centre for contemporary culture and creative enterprise in the UK, whilst consolidating the District’s reputation as a world-class heritage destination.

Simon Eden, Chief Executive of Winchester City Council and Chair of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) ‘Quality Places’ task group, said:
“The Winchester District scores highly on some success factors. Its quality of place and quality of life give it a distinct advantage. It currently has plenty to attract businesses: investment, creative talent, expertise, and the workforce needed to build a successful place. But there is still a considerable amount to do to sustain success and move from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’. The Council seeks to work in partnership with the University of Winchester and Southampton University’s Winchester School of Art as well as the many cultural organisations across the District to deliver this new, dynamic strategy.”

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council, added:
“Culture and creativity are significant contributors to the economic prosperity of the District. We found that the cultural and creative sector creates £119m of Gross Value Added (GVA) and supports around 5,000 jobs across the City and District. This means that Winchester City Council and Winchester Business Improvement District’s support for the cultural and creative sector yields far greater return than their investment. In my role as portfolio holder for culture I have enjoyed finding out how culture and innovation also enhance social well-being, improve the quality of the environment and encourage civic pride.”

Pippa Warin, from Arts Council England, will be making a key-note address looking at the national and regional picture, at this time of continued public spending constraint. However, most of the session will be built around contributions from local practitioners and organisations.

Delegates will then begin development of an action plan to help drive forward culture and innovation in the Winchester economy over the coming years.

Spaces for the conference are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-booking is essential. To book your space visit or email Carol Hussey at

The new Cultural Strategy for the Winchester District 2014 to 2018 can be downloaded here