Cultural boost set to restore Bulwell

The Malt Cross in Nottingham hosted the debate
The Malt Cross in Nottingham hosted the debate
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A bid to give Bulwell a cultural boost to match Nottingham’s ‘Creative Quarter’ was discussed at an arts meeting.

Nottingham North MP Graham Allen called for culture, arts and heritage to be just as important to the outer city estates as well as city centres in Parliament last week, and chaired meetings to explore how the town can be benefit.

But some commentators are sceptical and say city-based ‘creative’ businesses are not in a position to economically develop Bulwell.

Mr Allen said: “Culture is key to bringing diversity to an area. An injection of arts, culture and creativity is not only important to Nottingham as a whole but would work wonders in Nottingham North. I don’t want a Creative Quarter for Nottingham North – a creative Eighth in Bulwell will do!”

The MP was interviewed at a gathering of arts and heritage groups last Friday at the launch of a BBC initiative to encourage creativity by linking people with established organisations like the Royal Shakespeare Company. The What Next? meetings aim to strengthen the role of culture in society and share ideas about how the sector can revitalise the economy.

Writer Jim Shorthose, who co-organised the meeting as part of his on-going Pecha Kucha Nottingham project, said: “Graham Allen made a good case for the city based creatives coming out to help Bulwell. I very much get the point of bringing creative stuff out from the centre to the edge. But I am sceptical this is really going to make places like Bulwell become economically developed. Nottingham doesn’t have that many big creative businesses. Many city-based creatives are self-employed or freelancers without employees. Many that I know are themselves on working tax credits! We need to recognise the problems of the broader economic context.”