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'Season of Culture 2022' announced for Chichester District

Visit The Novium museum

A Chichester District Cultural Partnership is to develop a special programme of events for 2022 to celebrate and showcase the outstanding range of arts and culture on offer across the district.


In a meeting of Chichester District Council's Cabinet last week, support was given to the project, which will look to create a 'Season of Culture' between March and October 2022, to shine a light on the many fantastic cultural organisations across the district.


"The year 2022 is set to be a very special one for culture in our district," says Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council. "It will see Chichester Festival Theatre mark its 60th anniversary, Pallant House Gallery its 40th anniversary, The Novium Museum its 10th anniversary, the Chichester International Film Festival its 30th anniversary. It also marks the 10th anniversary of the Festival of Chichester.


"Our Season of Culture will celebrate these incredible milestones and showcase what the district has to offer, with a diverse range of activities and events to engage residents and visitors alike while helping to support the extraordinary range of local arts and heritage organisations that we are proud to have here.


"To date, the council has invested £5,000 in the project, with match funding from Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery. Our next steps will be to recruit a Project Manager to develop plans and funding support required to deliver the events and to apply for grants.


"We will be working with a large number of our cultural organisations to deliver this project, which aligns with the aims of the Chichester Vision and the council's newly adopted Events Strategy. Both of these look to the importance of events to establish the district as a leading visitor destination and to positively contribute to the local economy and cultural experience.


"It's now more important than ever that we support vital sectors such as arts, culture and tourism as they look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the council's COVID recovery plan, we have already been working hard to help these sectors. This includes boosting the arts through continued grant support for Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery, and jointly commissioning an economic and social value impact study with a number of arts organisations in the district.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic started, tourism accounted for £470 million within the local economy and 14% of all jobs. Tourism will play a large role in helping to get our local economy back up and running following the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, we decided to treble our investment to Visit Chichester —which supports holiday accommodation, venues, museums, gardens, retail outlets, the arts, the Festival Theatre and the cathedral — to £150,000 to give the tourism sector the boost it needs. This will help protect local jobs, and will also have a positive impact on other sectors that support the tourism industry."


Kathy Bourne, Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, says: "It's wonderful serendipity that so many of the district's world-class cultural organisations are celebrating major anniversaries in 2022. The arts play a huge role in our national and international reputation, and the Season of Culture will enable both residents and visitors to appreciate even more what an exciting and vibrant place this is. We look forward to working with our colleagues at CDC, Pallant House and our fellow cultural organisations to develop these exciting plans."


Simon Martin, Director of Pallant House Gallery, says: "For the past 60 years, the Chichester District has provided a world-class cultural offering — from visual art to drama, film, music and performance. The Season of Culture in 2022 will be a timely opportunity to celebrate the exceptional arts and heritage organisations we have here and to draw visitors from around the UK and abroad as we emerge from the difficulties of the pandemic."


More information about the Season of Culture will be released as plans are developed. You can keep up to date on news from the council by visiting or following its social media channels.