Introduction

1. The work of the Rural Cultural Forum (2006 – 2018)

The RCF Rural Cultural Forum was established in June 2006 at the first Rural Cultural Summit held at Tate Britain.  It main purpose was to act as a rural cultural advocacy and networking agency, which also lobbied for the introduction of rural cultural strategy and related creative rural economy strategic investment initiative. 

The RCF’s work on the creative rural economy came about as the result of three historic events which then had a major impact on rural communities, the future of farming and the rural economy. These were: (i) the Foot and Mouth pandemic, FMD – 2001, the International Banking Crisis – 2008/09, and now Brexit and Britain’s historic decision to exit from the EU 2016/19.   

For more information about the Rural Cultural Forum’s main campaign areas please go to the archive section of the website>

The RCF formally ended it campaign work in 2018 with a recommendation that a new creative rural sector (CRS) lobby or advocacy network should be set up to on carry this work.  We are hoping will be take over by the creation of a Rural Creative Industries Consortium – CRIC, later in 2019, after the Tate Britain conference in June.

2. The impact of Brexit and the Industrial Strategy on the creative rural sector

In anticipation of Brexit the Government also launched an new Industrial Strategy in November 2017. Alongside this the CI creative Industries lobbied for the adoption of a Creative Industries Settlement, which was adopted by Government in March 2018.

3. The Creative Rural Sector responds to the Government’s Industrial Strategy

The New Creative Rural Economy initiative has been developed by CRIC as part of the creative rural sector’s initial response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy – Creative Industries Settlement.

4. This initial strategy has four main components: 

4.1  The organisation of an international ‘New Creative Rural Economies’ conference at Tate Britain 25/26 June 2019

4.2  Commissioning of a major consultancy study report to formally assess and verify the creative rural sector’s; (i) current estimates that it is generating £2 billion for the national creative economy and (ii) that, with a three year £15 million Rural Cultural Development Fund in place,  it has the capacity to up this contribution to c. £4 billion by 2024.

4.3  Following an agreement, via an open democratic rural cultural mandate, to establish a Creative Rural Industries Consortium or advocacy/networking agency or council.  Which could unify and speak for all the active creative rural sectors in the UK (or for England initially).

4.4  The said CRIC would then open a formal dialogue with CIC (Creative Industries Council) to seek recognition and admission to the Council for the creative rural sector. At the same time as discussions with DCMS, Arts Council, DEFRA, BEIS, etc. about the possibility of establishment of a three year, £15 million Rural Cultural Development Fund or an equivalent creative rural sector investment strategy.

The Consortium

If you would like to know more about the consortium, please follow this link.