SWANSEA CREATIVE QUARTER CLUSTER
Creativity & Inclusion Driving Economic & Environmental Regeneration in Swansea City Centre
Following our Creative Quarter Roundtable in September 2019, a group of 4theRegion Changemakers has been meeting on a weekly basis to take forward some of the ideas we discussed. We know that creating a vibrant, creative, inclusive Swansea is key to achieving our economic and social goals for the region. In his book The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida argued that the “clustering force” of young creatives and tech workers in metropolitan areas was key to creating greater economic prosperity. Our mission is to make Swansea City Centre somewhere that people want to be, by involving everyone, engaging communities, and unleashing the talent and potential of people.
Here in Swansea we want urban regeneration, and eco-system regeneration, without gentrification. We want “inclusive urbanism” that prioritises the following themes:
- youth and BME engagement
- living wage employment
- more affordable housing
- health and well-being
- creativity and circular economies
- access to green spaces
- improved public transport
- regeneration of the social fabric
A New Story
Our proposal is to collect short stories on the theme of #ItsYourSwansea, and collate these into an eBook as well as a prize giving ceremony at the City Centre Conference 2020. Keen to talk to storyteller Carl Gough about this when he is back in Swansea. David Jones is keen to publish the ebook.
MEMORY / HISTORY
Pearl Bevan is keen to develop a History of the High Street App. We could put out a call for photos of Old Swansea, hold a social evening, film interviews with people talking about their memories of Swansea, create an app… Engaging older people through their memories of how Swansea used to be, connecting stories from the past with stories from the present, intergenerational activity.
One of our goals is greater Youth Engagement in shaping the future of the city centre. We aim to get young people involved in video workshops run by Dustin Rubio, a film competition and Youtube Channel with the theme of #ItsYourSwansea, a showcase / awards ceremony for these films at the Swansea City Centre Conference 2020, and using the video workshops as a means of engaging young people in other activities that our collective might undertake…
Podcasting, Vlogs and Blogs – there is general interest in content creation to tell stories about what’s happening on and around the High Street. Dawn and Stacey are keen to start a podcast (potentially again entitled #ItsYourSwansea?) to interview people about what they are doing, esp in relation to creativity and the creative quarter, talk to thought leaders, developers, local leadership. Dustin Rubio has young people interested in assisting with the technical aspects of podcast production, which would provide good experience for them.
Through Paul Munn we have been introduced to the landlord and trustees of Swansea Community Workshops. Their vision is for maker-spaces, man sheds, supporting craft businesses and creating a community hub focussed on tackling isolation (esp older people) and sharing skills around creative / craft industries.
As a group we share some core values:
- Belief in / vision of the future of the High Street as a vibrant creative community
- The importance of creativity to people, well-being, placemaking, the economy…
- Bringing everyone with us – engaging with local people
- Opportunities for young people – employability, involvement, sense of belonging
- Tackling isolation of older people, intergenerational opportunities, sharing skills
From 4theRegion’s perspective, our mission is to involve, empower and activate people to be changemakers in our communities right across our region, inspiring a shared sense of purpose around helping to shape the future of Swansea and South West Wales – a flourishing future with the well-being of people and the planet at its heart.
4theRegion is organising the Swansea City Centre Conference on 31st March 2020 which is a major annual event for the city, aiming to celebrate and showcase the city’s grassroots changemakers and entrepreneurs, and engaging everyone in a shared vision of a flourishing, prosperous, vibrant, multicultural, creative city. The hashtag and theme, #ItsYourSwansea, reflects our desire that everyone feels a sense of ownership and empowerment. It’s your Swansea, so what do you think? What are you going to do? What do you want for the future?
Our interest in developing the Creative Quarter as a physical place and as non-physical “idea” arose out of co-creative discussion at last year’s City Centre Conference, and we hope that the activities coming forward through our working group will feed into this year’s conference.
Our overarching goal is to:
- Connect People
- Amplify and Champion the Good Stuff
- Empower & Activate Changemakers
- Facilitate Collaboration
We don’t wish to compete or replicate what’s already happening. Instead we want to join the dots and amplify, support, connect…