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Craven District Council

Craven and South Lakeland District Councils launch thrilling creative and cultural project

The exciting Great Place: Lakes and Dales project has been launched with a creativity-filled event in Grasmere which celebrated the wealth of local culture, arts and heritage.

Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded Craven and South Lakeland District Councils £1.34million for this innovative project which will boost the local economy through celebrating local culture, arts and heritage.

Great Place: Lakes and Dales aims to create a sustainable, resilient, creative community and economy, which will retain and attract younger people and business to the area to influence, support and create our future economy.

The project is being led by Craven District Council, in partnership with South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), and also the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Park Authorities.

The launch took place at the pop-up Roundabout Theatre, in Grasmere, where guests were invited to a performance of How to Be A Kid by Paines Plough, viewings of Heaton Cooper Studio, and tours of Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum.

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council's lead member for Enterprising Craven, said: "I'm delighted that we've been able to launch this innovative project, which will strengthen the future economy of our rural communities and help make them sustainable for the future.

"Our Great Place has outstanding countryside and a wealth of culture which has inspired creativity for generations. However, with an ageing population we need to take action to attract and retain more young people.

"Only young people and families will ensure the survival of our village schools, provide a skilled workforce for local businesses, and keep our districts vibrant and attractive for visitors.

"We want to make a step change in the perception of our place - finding and piloting new ways of working and new partnerships to retain and attract younger people to our Great Place."

SLDC's portfolio holder for Culture, Media and Leisure, Councillor Matt Severn, said: "It's fantastic to see this project begin; it links in with our Cultural Destination success, our existing partnerships with our national portfolio organisations, and our support for the successful World Heritage Site bid and the creative industries.

"We want to continue to bring in new ideas, encourage new generations' interpretations of our heritage in the modern world, and add new value to our great natural heritage and cultural assets.

"The success of Great Place: Lakes and Dales depends on effective partnership and collaboration. Delivery requires partners within and beyond Craven and South Lakeland, committing to join together in action, and we hope to work with other local organisations and indivduals across the public, private and voluntary sectors to help us retain and recruit younger people to the area."

The project will be focused on the rural corridor linking Skipton in the south and Grasmere in the north, including the market towns and rural hinterlands, extending into both the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks.

The Great Place includes the market towns of Skipton and Kendal and the area characterised by the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the Lune Valley and the approaches into the central Lake District, and straddles two partnering local authorities - Craven and South Lakeland District Councils and the two National Park Authorities - Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.

Existing flagship heritage initiatives will be strengthened, including Skipton Town Hall and Craven Museum and Gallery, Stories in Stone, Lakes Culture, Windermere Jetty, Re-imagining Wordsworth, and Lakes Alive.

The project will carry out research to define what is culturally important to the area, how economic activity can be generated and how a younger workforce can be attracted to stay or move to the areas.

Culture, arts and heritage will be placed at the core of local strategies, plans and policies, and the project will help create the right environment for innovative creatives to flourish. The scheme will aim to diversify, retain, attract, support and grow the creative economy.

Work with key festivals including Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Lakes Alive, Kendal Mountain Festival, Grassington Festival, Settle Stories and Skipton International Puppet Festival will help further develop the area's cultural tourism.

To find out more about the project and keep in touch please email: