With East Lindsey’s flagship cultural festival on the horizon the contribution culture makes to communities in East Lindsey has been recognised in a Government White paper.
Published on March 23, 2016, the White Paper – the first Government Strategy for art and culture in more than 50 years – specifically mentions the work of Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture and the social and economic benefits events like SO Festival have for communities in terms of health and wellbeing and economic growth.
SO Festival was launched by East Lindsey District Council in 2009, in partnership with Arts Council England. In 2015 the Festival and wider cultural programme for East Lindsey were handed to Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, which continues to grow and develop the programme for the benefit of the area.
The eight day annual SO Festival, which this year takes place between June 25 and July 3, brings high quality culture to towns across the area and attracts combined audiences of around 90,000. Annually SO Festival generates around £1,000,000 for the economy in East Lindsey. It also provides local people with the opportunity to develop new skills and be a part of some of the performances.
Innovation and partnerships have been key to creating many of the opportunities to bring new and exciting cultural experiences to East Lindsey. As well as a collaboration with the internationally renowned Garsington Opera that has seen Opera broadcast live onto Skegness’ Beach and Opera Education workshops delivered in schools; comedy workshops and performances like ‘Funny Bones’ by the Big Difference Company have been used as a way to encourage older people to remain physically active.
Chairman of Magna Vitae, Doreen Stephenson, said: “For an area like East Lindsey culture is such an important tool to address real community issues. We continue to have a solid and successful working relationship with Arts Council England. Since the Council first invested in culture with the launch of SO Festival in 2009 the cultural offer in the District has continued to expand and under Magna Vitae’s stewardship continues to go from strength to strength.”
“Being highlighted in the case studies supporting the Strategy is recognition of the work that has taken place in East Lindsey over the last eight years to place culture at the forefront of the social and economic agendas,” said Magna Vitae’s Managing Director, Mark Humphreys.