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Kensington and Chelsea to introduce cultural placemaking scheme

Image: The Natural History Museum in Kensington

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is to place culture and the creative industries at the heart of all future development within the borough.

The local authority is rolling out its Cultural Placemaking initiative as it aims to become the first council in the UK to integrate culture into the borough's economic development through planning.

Developed in partnership with consultancies Futurecity and BOP Consulting, the new proposals seek to spark debate and stimulate ideas from across development, planning, cultural and creative sectors to form new thinking and partnerships to create new places. Feedback on the proposals will influence future council policy in this area.

The Royal Borough is already home to some of the world's most iconic visitor attractions, cultural organisations and creative industries - such as the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the Science Museum - and is also home to large numbers of artists, designers, musicians and the creative professions.

The new initiative sets out to build on this heritage while creating a stronger, more sustainable creative economy.

According to a mission statement, the aim is to "place the borough at the forefront of contemporary creativity, and enabling residents to access internationally excellent culture and using culture to attract inward investment".

Nicholas Paget-Brown, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for transportation, environment and leisure, said: "The borough's economic future and the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods are closely linked to the success of our creative industries, tourism and the cultural sector.

"We believe that adopting a cultural placemaking approach to planning and development across the entire borough has the potential to create places to benefit present and future residents and businesses, stimulate home-grown cultural talent and make the Royal Borough the choice for international creative companies seeking to locate in London."

It is estimated that despite being the smallest London borough in size, more than 13 million people visit Kensington and Chelsea each year, spending a total of £1.3bn.

The council's cultural placemaking proposals call on developers seeking to work in the Royal Borough to:

• Embed culture and the creative industries into their thinking right from the start of the development process.

• Be even more imaginative and bold in their thinking and proposals, in particular masterplanning design, the animation of new places and creative and commercial ideas for the public realm.

• Explore and anchor the heritage and contemporary cultural context of their sites as fully as possible.

• Work with the Creative District Profiler to identify the potential of a proposed site to become a creative district.

• Brand and animate their developments, through interventions, temporary creative spaces and long-term cultural provision, partnerships and programming.

• Be active in forming creative partnerships with the Royal Borough's diverse communities, local and international cultural providers and the creative industries to influence development.

• Form long-term partnerships with cultural providers to influence the style and content of cultural amenities, not merely their existence.

To read an in-depth outline on the proposals, click here.

To download the document, visit:

Image: The Natural History Museum in Kensington The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is to place culture and the creative industries at the heart of all future development within the borough. The local authority is rolling out its Cultural Placemaking initiative as it aims to become the first council in the UK to integrate culture into the borough's economic development through planning. Developed in partnership with consultancies Futurecity and
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