Re-Imagining Place: CDF Symposium

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CDF Symposium: Re-Imagining Place

The Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Symposium, Re-Imagining Place: Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Through Culture, took place at the Guildhall Worcester in March 2023, marking the culmination of the five first round Cultural Development Fund (CDF) projects and offering opportunities to celebrate, share learning, connect and be inspired by those projects in Grimsby, Plymouth, Thames Estuary, Wakefield and Worcester

The event brought together policymakers in national and local government, academics, researchers, the creative sector and leading cultural organisations to explore the theme of sustainable and inclusive growth through culture, including a welcome address by Minster for Arts and Heritage, Lord Parkinson.

Attendees included funders, policymakers, peers and practitioners from organisations including:
Arts Council England, Creative PEC, DCMS, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Emergency Exit Arts, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Steer-ED, several leading universities and 18 local authorities across the length and breadth of England.

Videos of all sessions will be available shortly on

Speakers and Agenda

9:30am – 10am.RegistrationTea, coffee and morning pastries will be provided
10am – 10:05amIntroductionJason Jones-Hall (Event MC), Director of Development, Five10Twelve / CDF Network
10:05am – 10:10amOpening AddressLord Parkinson, Minster for Arts and Heritage
10:10am – 10:20amWelcomeCllr Adrian Gregson, Mayor of Worcester
10:20am – 10:30amIntroduction to CDF Round 1 ProjectsPaul Bristow, Director Policy and Partnerships, Arts Council England
10:30amFilm1Short film highlighting one of the five first round CDF projects
10:30am -11:25amPanel 1: Capital ProjectsSara Turnbull (Chair), Director, WorkWild
Ben Cook, Service Manager, Culture, Wakefield Council
David Blake, Managing Director, Worcester City Council
Lindsey Hall, CEO Real Ideas
Annabel McCourt, Independent Artist
11:25am -11:30amFilm 2Short film highlighting one of the five first round CDF projects
11:30am – 12:25pmPanel 2: Activating SpacesTracey Sage (Chair), Sage Culture
Natalie Adams, Joint CEO, Trigger
Thea Behrman, Senior Project Manager, Estuary Festival, Metal Culture
Elaine Knight, Arts Director, Severn Arts
James Trowsdale, Strategic Lead for Culture, NE Lincs Council
12:25pm – 12:30pmFilm 3Short film highlighting one of the five first round CDF projects
12:30pm – 1:30pmLunchSandwiches, finger buffet selection, tea, coffee
1:30pm – 1:35pmFilm 4Short film highlighting one of the five first round CDF projects
1:35pm – 2:30pmPanel 3: Developing People, Businesses and CommunitiesPaul Bristow (Chair), Arts Council England
Chris Bennewith, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, University of Plymouth
Steven Dobson, Associate Professor, University of Leeds
Alice Heggie, Skills Development Manager, Creative Estuary
Jabba Riaz, Chair, Worcester Mela
2:30pm – 2:35pmFilm 5Short film highlighting one of the five first round CDF projects
2:35pm – 3:30pmPanel 4: Legacy and SustainabilityEmma Wilcox (Chair), Director, Creative Estuary
Kevin McGeough
Lisa February/Matt Gray, Directors, Lowercase Theatre
Emma Hanes, Deputy Head, Steer-ED
Julie Russell, Service Director, Arts and Culture, Wakefield Council
3:30pm – 3:45pmClosing Statements and ActionsJason Jones-Hall
3:45pm – 4:30pmNetworking / RefreshmentsTea, coffee, soft drinks and cake
4:30pmENDS –

CDF Networking Event

Image of The Arches Worcester
Arch 27 and neighbouring Artery Gallery (Arch 28), The Arches, Worcester

For those staying in Worcester on the night of 8th March, there was an opportunity to join the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Network and partners to celebrate the completion of the first round CDF projects at The Arches, Worcester, just a short walk from Worcester’s Foregate Street station and High Street, on Wednesday 8th March, 6pm-8pm.

This informal early evening event was timed to coincide with the Re-Imagining Place symposium, which was held at Worcester’s Guildhall on the following day.

Activities and networking opportunities at the evening event included:

DCMs and Arts Council England funders logos

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