Cultural Action Plan

Importantly this Action Plan is one that is co-owned with the City Council, ensuring that culture is embedded in the plans that will shape the city of the future. Named as one of the top five priorities in the City Council’s five-year strategic plan, culture is seen as a key contributor to future prosperity and growth in Exeter.

Download the Action Plan

Goal 1

To develop a vibrant cultural economy – Exeter as a cultural destination

This goal relates specifically to repositioning culture as a key driver of the economy in Exeter


Develop a long term Communications Plan and campaign. This will include:

  • Explore options for a new cultural diary for the city, made available through using a variety of media:
  • A social media strategy
  • The development of external networking events (developing relationships with business sector for example)
  • The development of internal networking events to enable different parts of the cultural sector to join up more effectively
  • Contributing to a re-brand of the city with culture at the core
  • Developing a pool of case studies about cultural projects and their contribution to Exeter as a cultural destination
  • Ensuring that cultural activity around key strategic events is planned, scheduled and co-ordinated (for example Rugby World Cup 2015, First World War Centenary 2014-18)
  • Implementing an economic and social impact study of culture’s contribution to the economy of the city
  • Appointing a Culture Director post connected to funding from Arts Council England’s Grant for the Arts scheme
  • Building a relationship with Hoteliers Association and Chamber of Commerce
  • Referencing strategic plans with key organisations such as Devon County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and Arts Council England and exploring opportunities to align priorities
  • Participating in relevant Visit England promotional campaigns


Goal 2

To develop cultural opportunities and experiences


  • Understand and map out forthcoming strategic events and opportunities within the city
  • Convene project groups for responding, planning and delivery; encourage cross-cultural collaboration
  • Develop and support more opportunities for cultural programmes connected to the well being agenda such as ageing, dementia, homelessness and social exclusion
  • Develop opportunities linked to the City Centre Strategy, green spaces and public realm agendas to animate and contribute to their delivery
  • Create better strategic dialogue between Exeter City Council and cultural providers to ensure that strategic programmes, projects and events in the city maximise opportunities for cultural activity
  • Provide feedback on the process and transparency of the distribution of arts finance by Exeter City Council
  • Investigate alternative sources of funding for development, commissioning and promotion

Bike Shed Bar group meeting


To enable wide and diverse engagement with the cultural sector 


  • To develop a better and more qualified pool of volunteers interested in cultural events. This will help support larger scale events generated by small organisations with limited infrastructures. It will also provide a central place to access volunteers.
  • Develop a cultural volunteering toolkit
  • Liaise with Exeter Council for Voluntary Service
  • Collate and share box office data, city statistics and demographics to understand where cold spots are within the city and target work and priorities accordingly
  • Develop a social impact study for culture to build the evidence base for more work that focuses on people who would not normally participate in cultural events
  • Create a better network for accessing schools’ engagement through close work with Daisi: Devon Arts In Schools Initiative and the Real Ideas Organisation


Goal 4

To build a stronger, more confident cultural sector


  • Develop a structured programme for progression routes for young people and cultural workers within the city that includes internships, mentoring, apprenticeships, master classes and discussion forums. Key partners include University of Exeter and Exeter College
  • Development opportunities leading to sustainable jobs
  • Identify Cultural Leaders for certain areas of work, such as health, sport, heritage etc. Rugby World Cup activity may provide an opportunity to pilot this activity
  • Ensure that small-scale organisations are supported in terms of space, skills and equipment.
  • Look to widen ECP Steering Group to include more small scale organisations
  • Endorse Devon Libraries ‘Enterprising Libraries’ bid. This will enable support for creative industries, young entrepreneurs and unemployed
  • Develop the skills of the cultural sector in fundraising. ECP to act as a hub for the Arts Council ‘Fundraising Fellows’ programme
  • Build better connections with the Third Sector and invite Exeter Council for Voluntary Service to join ECP

Photography by Roy Riley 2014 Exeter Library

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