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The Nottingham Project Launches to Rejuvenate the City’s Cultural Scene

13 July 20 words: Ashley Carter

The major new project, which includes Vicky McClure, Shane Meadows and Director of the London 2012 Organising Committee Greg Nugent, will aim to breathe new life into the city post-COVID.

A significant new initiative with the aim of re-visioning and rejuvenating Nottingham after the worldwide COVID-19 crisis has launched today with an aim to securing and shaping the city’s cultural landscape. With the goal of harnessing the power of culture, creativity, the arts, music and sport over the next decade, The Nottingham Board for Culture and Creativity plans on revitalising the creative sector, which has been badly damaged by the ongoing pandemic.  

After securing the strategic support of Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and Arts Council England, as well as financial support from Nottingham BID, The Nottingham Project has a series of short and long-term objectives for the city, which it will aim to accomplish over the next ten years. 

Nottingham-born Greg Nugent, who achieved great success as a Director of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, will chair the newly formed board. “Given the events of 2020 and the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the creative and culture sector in our city – and around the world – there has never been a more important time for a project of this nature,” Nugent says, “It is crucial Nottingham rejuvenates itself and has the ambition to become a world leader over the next decade.”

The Project has already secured the expertise of Heatherwick Studio, founded by designer Thomas Heatherwick, to help the city develop a new creative vision and master plan for Nottingham. This piece of work will be carried out over the summer, through careful consultation with key creative stakeholders and the wider Nottingham public, with the aim of building a vision for Nottingham that places it in the world’s most creative cities over the coming decade.

“COVID-19 has shown us that, now more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected and celebrate the things that bring us together. As a studio that prioritises human experience at the heart of our work, my team and I can’t wait to start working closely with the people who know Nottingham best” Heatherwick explains, “Our intention will be to develop ways for the city to harness its rich cultural heritage and extraordinary creative talents to secure its future as one of the most creative places in the world.”

The support of Nottingham’s two major universities will provide the project with significant support, following the launch of their flagship 'Universities for Nottingham' initiative in January, which emphasises the importance of creativity, culture and local heritage in helping make both Nottingham and Nottinghamshire an outstanding and prosperous place to live, work, study, invest and start a business.

This is the moment where we can begin to showcase to the world just how amazing Nottingham is

Commenting jointly, Professor Edward Peck of Nottingham Trent University and Professor Shearer West from University of Nottingham agree: “It has never been more important for Nottingham’s artists, businesses, institutions and communities to come together. We are delighted to support a programme of such ambition and confidence which shares the spirit of collaboration that also underpins our commitment to our joint Universities for Nottingham initiative, launched earlier this year. Both universities have been long-standing supporters of Nottingham’s cultural and creative sectors for many years and we hope that this investment will underscore the vital role that creativity and culture will play in local recovery and renewal.” 

The Nottingham Project will unite major organisations with some of Nottingham's greatest creators, including BAFTA Award winning actress Vicky McClure, who joins as Vice Chair, filmmaker Shane Meadows, Nottingham Street Food Club’s Nathaniel Wilson, LeftLion’s own Jared Wilson and Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. “I have long been a champion of culture and creativity in our city. I believe we have a unique and inspiring heritage, as well as an exciting future, with so much incredible young talent coming through,” McClure says, “This is the moment where we can begin to showcase to the world just how amazing Nottingham is.” 

The Nottingham Project is calling for the people of Nottingham to help play a role in the future of their city with their ideas, thoughts and creativity welcomed in order to shape the initial creative process. 

You can keep up-to-date with the Project’s progress at:
Twitter: @TheNottmProject 
Facebook: @TheNottinghamProject
Instagram: @TheNottinghamProject
[email protected]

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