Carlisle Culture – How can Carlisle capitalise on creative industries?

Carlisle Culture – How can Carlisle capitalise on creative industries? name

How can Carlisle build upon its arts, heritage and cultural assets – including 200 new graduates every year – to boost the local, regional and national economy as creative industries continue to smash UK records?

Business leaders are invited to join a panel of influential figures next Tuesday (12 March) at the University of Cumbria to explore how they can help Carlisle thrive through developing creative industries and related infrastructure.

Latest government figures show that UK’s creative industries made a record contribution to the economy in 2017, smashing through the £100 billion mark. They have been growing at nearly twice the rate of the economy since 2010.

University Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell will be joined by internationally renowned designer Wayne Hemingway and Nicky Chance-Thompson at Creative and Cultural Economy, the third of four inter-linked and themed Carlisle Culture Conversations happening in February and March.

Wayne Hemingway MBE, an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria, co-founded the fashion label Red or Dead and now jointly leads Hemingway Design, which is involved in the process of drawing up the St Cuthbert’s Garden Village concept that could transform the southern edge of the Carlisle over the next 30-50 years.

Nicky Chance-Thompson is chief executive of the Piece Hall Trust in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The trust runs the award-winning Grade I listed Piece Hall, which opened in 2017 after a multi-million pound conservation and transformation of the unique cloth mill complex. A vibrant cultural quarter, the eighteenth century hall’s 66,000 sq ft open-air courtyard is enclosed by independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There is also an art gallery and heritage centre.

Creative and Cultural Economy will take place at the university’s Vallum Gallery, Institute of the Arts, Brampton Road.

Carlisle Culture launched last month and four public consultation events, Conversations, are taking place to help draw up a strategic framework to maximise the city’s cultural offerings and stimulate future growth and prosperity.

Carlisle City Council, Prism Arts, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery and the University of Cumbria are founding partners of this development stage of Carlisle Culture, which is supported by Arts Council England.

Vice Chancellor Professor Mennell said: “As the University of Cumbria,  we have a key role, working in partnerships, in leading the cultural, social and educational revitalisation of the community and to help make Cumbria a more attractive place to live and work.

“We educate students in a range of cultural and creative industries at our Institute of the Arts and they go on to enjoy huge success, with around 200 of them graduating every year. We want to continue to make Carlisle and Cumbria more attractive for them to stay and help contribute to the vibrancy and economy of the area.

“We are committed to working with partners to do this and to meet the needs of employers in developing and upskilling the workforce, and increasing the levels of productivity across all economic sectors."

Roddy Hunter, director of the Institute of the Arts at the University of Cumbria, said: “The creative industries are an undoubted strength of our national economy. We need to think about how we can grow creative industries such as film, television, design, publishing, heritage, gaming and digital and consider what ingredients are required to ensure the conditions are right for Carlisle to attract, develop and retain innovative and entrepreneurial talent.

“Creative industries and culture also make significant contributions to the local visitor economy therefore it is important that we explore how we can continue to build on what is here, not just through innovation but also through other areas like conservation and preservation.”

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery will host the last of the four Carlisle Culture Conversations – Creative Learning - on 29 March.

The session will explore how arts, culture and creativity can add to people’s personal development and quality of life in Carlisle, also looking at how formal and informal education systems can promote creative learning.

Places for the Carlisle Culture Conversations can be booked online:

Tuesday 12 March 9.30am – 12noon, University of Cumbria, Creative + Culture Economy - Nominated Theme Champion: Roddy Hunter, Director of the Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria.

Friday 29 March 9.30am-12noon, Tullie House - Creative Learning - Nominated Theme Champion: Andrew Mackay, Director, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust.

For more information, visit