Arts organisations and their supporters across Salford are joining forces to help put the city on the cultural map.

Members of the public, artists and guest speakers gathered at Islington Mill last Thursday for the launch of Salford’s Culture and Place Partnership.

This was the launch of the Culture and Place Partnership. Credit: Lucy Matthews

This talk was the first of many as organisations such as University of Salford and The Lowry share and develop their plans and visions to capture Salford’s cultural and historic identity.

Head of partnership Sarie Mairs Slee said: “So today we launched both the new strategy for culture, creativity and place in the city as well as the partnership that’s leading that strategy which is Salford’s Culture and Place Partnership.”

The event took place at Salford’s historic Islington Mill. Credit: Lucy Matthews

She explained that this partnership is led by anchor institutions including Arts Council England, Salford City Council, The Lowry, University of Salford and also artist-led organisations like Walk the Plank, calling it a “collaborative vision for the city”.

The strategy outlining the vision for the city is branded Suprema Lex after the city’s motto Salus populi suprema lex – the welfare of the people is the highest law.

The plan includes: place-making, animating the city, destination Salford and putting people at the centre of everything.

The process began in 2017 when an agreement was signed between Salford City Council, University of Salford and Arts Council England.

It recognised how important culture and art is in people’s lives.

Artist Nicola Fernandes work in her open studio. Credit: Lucy Matthews

At the event, many artists were also able to showcase their work. From painting and drawings to unique carpet designs and shadow art, there were lots of open studios to look around.

Guests were also welcome to enjoy free drinks and music.

Former Salford University student’s work. Credit: Lucy Matthews

Guest speakers such as City Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett, The Lowry chief executive Julia Fawcett OBE, and University Chancellor Jackie Kay CBE, took to the stage to talk about Salford and its culture.

Sarie Mairs Slee said: “Most people that have come today already have a foot in the art’s in the city and very much are actively working in lots of different ways creatively and building the cityscape.

“I think people came with an appetite of how they could build more but also do more.”

For the future, Mrs Slee said: “Over April and May we’re going to try to get out to have a deeper conversation with groups, organisations and businesses that want to dig into this.”

From March until August, the action and delivery plans will be developed, ready for publication in September 2020.

The head of partnership said: “Really it’s about get up and go. Let’s see what we can do with this city.”

It is hoped that more organisations and groups will join the strategy, to celebrate and recognise Salford’s culture.

Piktochart credit: Lucy Matthews


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