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Cultural compact

Southwark Council has made the difficult decision to put the Southwark Cultural Compact project on hold at this time due to the impact of COVID19. We would like to thank everyone who has engaged in developing the Cultural Compact for your time and support on the project to date. 
Your ideas and suggestions have been recorded and fed into the development work carried out so far, and are ready to be picked up again to move the project into the next phase in due course.
We will be in touch again as soon as the project re-starts.  If you would like to engage in the project, and have not done so already please email

Southwark Council is working with Arts Council England, Core Cities Group and Key Cities Group to set up London’s first Cultural Compact. 

The UK Cultural Cities Enquiry

The UK Cultural Cities Enquiry, an independent enquiry into the cultural resources of Britain’s cities, recommended that cities consider setting up “Cultural City Compacts” - partnerships across the city’s cultural sector and extending out to sectors and stakeholders beyond culture to provide leadership and strategic capacity.

In England, both the Arts Council and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, consider that this recommendation can help urban areas make a step change in their strategic governance of culture, which will help more people and more places benefit from engaging with cultural opportunities.

Southwark’s Cultural Compact

Arts Council England is working with the Core Cities Group and the Key Cities Group to identify a number of early adopters and have invited Southwark to become London’s first Cultural Compact.

The compact approach is to co-create and co-deliver a holistic vision for culture in a place and work together with partners to deliver a step change in the sustainability and impact of culture in that locality. It must link the cultural sector to broader aspirations and priorities intersecting with the ambitions of health agencies, business, universities and other sectors.

Get involved - Help us shape London's first ever Cultural Compact

Southwark's Cultural Compact aims to explore how the borough can use culture to build a better future for our communities, businesses and arts organisations. Do you have the energy and capacity to support the development of the Compact, alongside a strategic and collaborative mindset to help us consider how to make the Compact of best use to Southwark?

We're looking for people who are interested in this exciting new initiative to get in touch to find out how they can become involved.

The Cultural Compact aims to:

  • work across sectors to make new connections that add value to people and organisations
  • drive new partnerships
  • find ways to nurture new talent and develop skills
  • use culture as a catalyst for genuine engagement with new users
  • create opportunities to connect existing projects and strategies
  • make better use of existing spaces and resources
  • discover new investment opportunities
  • celebrate Southwark's unique cultural offer
  • deliver tangible outcomes and a clear action plan

If you're interested in being part of the Cultural Compact, contact the team leading on the development with the Council's Culture Team to find out more: Kate Rolfe, The Revels Office -

Page last updated: 17 January 2023

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