Bournemouth ‘gaps’ in culture offer – report

Bournemouth has a number of gaps in its cultural offer, says a new report on the town.

The borough lacks an arts centre, an art house cinema and a museum telling the story of the town.

That is the view of a draft cultural strategy prepared for the local council, which says there is “more to do” to raise the quality and range of arts available in the town.

The report also notes there is a need for a borough-wide forum to forge partnerships in arts and culture, a comprehensive approach to cultural commissioning and a public art strategy, the report says. 

An overview of the draft strategy says: “The image of the borough trails behind reality – the borough has more to offer creatives, communities, business, visitors and cultural tourists than the reputation suggests.”

It adds: “Culture is not just an add-on, it should be an integral part of what we do, both for its own sake, and for the contribution it makes to learning, health, wellbeing, economic and social regeneration, place making and community cohesion.

The draft strategy was commissioned from consultant Mark Chandler. The council’s current strategy was published in 2002, before the closure of the Winter Gardens and the arrival of new venues such as Pavilion Dance South West.

It also follows comments from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra principal conductor Kirill Karabits who suggested that a new concert hall to replace the Winter Gardens would keep him in the post for decades. 

Bournemouth Civic Society said the draft cultural strategy adds weight to its argument that the former Odeon cinema could be saved for community use. 


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