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Dorset Cultural Strategy 2009-2014

Our Vision and ambition is that Dorset leads the world in placing culture at the heart of quality of life.

The first cultural strategy for the Dorset Strategic Partnership (DSP) was written to recognise unique strengths of the county. The development of the Dorset Cultural Strategy was led by the DSP, it is ambitious for Dorset and values our traditions, history and local distinctiveness in land and seascapes and seeks to build on our international links and world status.

In the Citizens Panel Survey April 2009:

  • 78% agree that access to cultural activities helps to make Dorset a better place to live

  • 77% agree that engagement in cultural activities contributes to an improved quality of life

What do we mean by culture?

Cultural activity brings the world to every corner of Dorset - from theatres to community halls and from the streets to the hill-sides. Dorset enjoys sites and places of national and international stature. These include the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Tank Museum and the Bridport Prize enjoy international renown. Dorset has a celebrated literary heritage, particularly Thomas Hardy whose work is an expression of the agricultural history and rural nature of the county.

Culture offers local people and visitors the chance to explore and express the distinctiveness and diversity of the county. There is a wide programme of festivals, many of them community led and some with a long and proud history such as the Tolpuddle Festival, Wimborne Folk and Swanage Jazz festivals. Local food and drink products, as well as those of designers and makers contribute to the distinctive character of the county.

Culture has great potential to bring communities together and plays an essential role in improving places and lives. Taking children to the local pantomime, playing for the village football team, finding out about your family history - these are some of the things that make life richer.

We want to achieve:

  • A thriving, competitive economy that delivers better quality employment for people in Dorset

  • A sustainable infrastructure which provides improved access to cultural and leisure opportunities

  • Safeguarding, understanding and enjoying Dorset's environment with planning for the future

  • Improved well-being with increased opportunities for people to enjoy and achieve within safe and thriving communities

Who is the strategy for?

The strategy is for everyone interested in Dorset. Cultural organisations will have a particular interest but the strategy will be of relevance to the DSP, local community partnerships, the county, district, town and parish councils and to regional agencies and external funders.

The Cultural Strategy provides the framework for collaboration between local, regional and national organisations and bodies in order to:

  • Maximise the contribution of culture to the quality of life in Dorset

  • Raise ambition and achievement of quality and excellence in the cultural activity taking place in Dorset

Achieving these purposes will enable our vision and ambition that Dorset leads the world in placing culture at the heart of quality of life.

  • iStock - consultation: Link to Consultation and EvidenceConsultation and Evidence

    Information about the process of preparing and developing the Dorset Cultural Strategy 2009 - 2014.

  • iStock - Handshake: Link to Outline Implementation PlanOutline Implementation Plan

    The Dorset Cultural Strategy is a five year partnership plan. The success of culture in Dorset relies on the ambition and energy of individuals and organisations pursuing their visions with passion.

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