Milton Keynes Council is to receive £300,000 of funding as the Arts Council announces the successful applicants to round two of its Cultural Destinations programme. It is one of 16 organisations across England to receive a share of £3.28 million.
Cultural Destinations is an initiative developed by the Arts Council England as a result of a three year partnership with VisitEngland, the national tourist board. It aims to increase the reach of those experiencing arts and culture, the sustainability of cultural organisations in local destinations, and to encourage the public and private sector to work together to support the growth of the local visitor economy.
‘Pedalling Culture’ will increase cultural tourism in Milton Keynes’ by putting culture at the heart of its green transport infrastructure, say those behind the sceme. It will see the city’s cultural venues and spaces made more accessible from Milton Keynes’ 280 miles of cycling and walking routes, ensuring both the local community and those visiting the city will have better access to Milton Keynes’ cultural offer, whilst also promoting green and health agendas.
“We are thrilled that Arts Council has chosen to invest in Milton Keynes in 2017 which is an incredibly exciting year for us: MK’s 50th Birthday. MK Council and city stakeholders are investing into our cultural infrastructure and value developing cultural wellbeing for our residents and visitors,” said
Councillor Liz Gifford, portfolio holder for culture at MK Council.
Hedley Swain, area director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Milton Keynes is a wonderful and unique place, unlike anywhere else in the UK and we are really pleased to be able to support their plans to increase cultural tourism. This project will offer visitors and the local community an exciting opportunity to experience the city’s cultural offer, whilst also helping to increase fitness and support greater use of environmentally friendly transport. I hope that this project will see many people jumping on their bikes and pedalling around Milton Keynes as they visit places like MK Gallery.”
Paul Sanders, director of Community Facilities at MK Council, said: “Bringing together the ‘5-ways to Wellbeing’ agenda and culture are a priority across the whole borough. This investment around an innovative theme will help us capture the imagination of audiences across both areas which is incredibly exciting.”