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Stoke-on-Trent City Council launches ambitious Visitor Economy and Cultural Strategies

Published: Wednesday, 28th September 2022

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced ambitious plans to shape the tourism and cultural offer of the city, through two new strategies

The Visitor Economy Strategy is a bold 5-year strategy, running from 2022 until 2027, which aims to boost the recovery of the tourism sector from the pandemic whilst aligning with the city’s Levelling Up ambitions.

This new strategy has reviewed tourism market segments via consultation and informs of the changing visitor behaviour in a post-pandemic world.

The Visitor Economy Strategy will be delivered through:

  • Undertaking a Greenway feasibility study for canals and green spaces
  • Developing a business case to include all costs, legal requirements and funding
  • Constructing and developing the greenway as a tourism resource
  • Strengthening existing mass-participation events with increased planning and promotions
  • Identifying new signature mass-participation events
  • Working with tourism businesses, heritage partners and Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID to increase evening experiences in the city including pop-up food/drink/entertainment experiences
  • Support continued development of existing family attractions
  • Establish new family attractions, including up to 2 new family indoor attractions
  • Increase the number of touring music concerts in the city working alongside Bet365 Stadium and Vale Park
  • Continue Capital Development Projects at Goods Yard and Etruscan Square and explore further opportunities around the development of Stoke Town Heritage Action Zone and the Spode Site as cultural and creative spaces.

Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said: 

“We have previously engaged with tourism stakeholders across Stoke-on-Trent via a consultation, to help shape the new Visitor Economy strategy.

“This strategy which will ensure the city continues its recovery from the pandemic and achieve our Levelling Up ambitions.

“We will build on Stoke-on-Trent’s reputation as the World Capital of Ceramics, with innovative and creative stories. This strategy reflects our vision to transform Stoke-on-Trent into one of the region’s most important cultural destinations.”

The new Cultural Strategy, running from 2022 until 2028, will celebrate and promote Stoke-on-Trent as a first-class destination for business, heritage and culture.

This strategy will build on the city’s compelling bid for the UK City of Culture in 2021 and will align with the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Cultural Strategy will be delivered through:

  • Provide a diverse and engaging cultural and creative offer which appeals to different demographic groups
  • Identify sources of capital investment and revenue finance to support and expand the city's cultural and creative offer
  • Deliver a new indoor arena in the City Centre as part of the proposed Etruscan Square development
  • Create additional exhibition spaces for visual arts which are appropriate, affordable and accessible
  • Attract national and international cultural organisations to work in the city to strengthen the cultural and tourism offer and enable local artists to learn and take inspiration from leading artists and performers

Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said: 

“The new Cultural Strategy is a partnership document that we worked with numerous stakeholders on and will create opportunities to improve the lives of people across Stoke-on-Trent by enhancing our cultural and creative offer.

“By investing in skills and employment opportunities we will ensure Stoke-on-Trent becomes a nationally important cultural destination through heritage-led regeneration, tourism and the growth of creative industries and sectors.”