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Cambridge City Council

Arts and culture partnerships

Partnerships play a crucial role in taking forward the outcomes of the arts plan. There are two types of partnerships, structural and thematic:

Structural Partnerships

Structural partnerships provide clear and stable routes for engagement, and support relationships which help us deliver our shared aspirations for arts and culture.

We're part of five key structural partnerships for arts and culture:

  • Cambridge Arts and Cultural Leaders brings together all the major arts and cultural organisations based in Cambridge.
  • The Cambridge Core Stakeholders Partnership includes the main bodies with responsibilities for funding and planning for arts and culture in Cambridge, including us, Arts Council England, University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire County Council.
  • The Culture Task Group is a county-wide grouping covering arts, culture and sport and includes all local authorities, Arts Council England, Sport England, English Heritage, and other key bodies, led by Cambridgeshire County Council.
  • The Cambridge Arts Network is a city-based network with about 1100 members, established and administered by us.
  • The Festivals and Events Liaison Group is a city-council convened forum to support a diverse and balanced range of high quality cultural, recreational, social and community festivals and events throughout the year.

Thematic partnerships

Thematic partnerships reflect key priorities, focusing on the role that arts and culture can play in helping to meet the significant opportunities and challenges for Cambridge. They recognise that the most effective actions will draw on strengths from within and outside the arts and cultural sector. Thematic partnerships aren't project specific and can have a significant life span.  

Our current thematic partnerships are:

Children and young people

This is the first thematic partnership to be established. My Cambridge (the partnership name) was established through a collaborative process, engaging with experts within and beyond the arts and cultural field, with residents, and with children and young people.

It's working across arts and cultural organisations, schools, this council, and Cambridgeshire County Council, to develop and implement a programme designed to bring a sea change to the way in which children and young people engage with arts and culture across Cambridge, and in particular to ensure that every child is able to make full use of Cambridge’s rich art and cultural resources.


Arts and culture are increasingly recognised as playing a significant role in community and individual well-being, across a spectrum ranging from community engagement through to clinical interventions.

Individual Cambridge-based organisations already have a significant track record in this field. The purpose of the partnership will be to harness the skills and expertise already in the city, and identify shared opportunities to meet key aspirations around health and well-being and connected communities. There will be a particular focus on reducing inequality and social exclusion, given their impact on health and well-being.


The arts and cultural sector has an essential role to play in good growth, helping to ensure that Cambridge is a great place to live and work. The development of a partnership will enable the alignment of activity and investment both within and beyond this council.

In addition to structural and thematic partnerships, we will continue to work in partnership with individual organisations to support the approach outlined in our arts plan.

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