From Royal Cornwall Museum’s exceptional Bronze Age gold lunula to Penlee House Art Gallery’s international collection of the Newlyn School, Cornwall’s museums contain a wealth of treasures with the potential to inspire. They are the guardians of Cornwall’s unique and rich heritage.
The calibre, breadth and international significance of Cornwall’s heritage has long been under played. We believe that it is one of Cornwall’s key assets and one which we can maximize through the European Capital of Culture programme to deliver lasting social and economic benefits for people across the Duchy.
Through European Capital of Culture we can promote Cornish distinctiveness. Our museums have links stretching around the globe. There is much more we can do to capitalize on these connections to promote Cornwall as an ambitious and outward looking place; a great place in which to invest or visit. European Capital of Culture will help us to do this.
Museums are a key part of the modern Cornish brand that attracts over 4.5 million people a year to Cornwall. There is potential to grow this market and through European Capital of Culture we can support our visitor economy by attracting more cultural tourists in the shoulder season months through a vibrant programme of cultural events.
We believe that culture makes life better. Evidence shows that being involved in the arts has a positive impact on specific health conditions including dementia, depression and Parkinson’s. People who have attended a cultural event in the last 12 months are 60% more likely to report good health; more frequent engagement with arts and culture is associated with improved wellbeing. 4 of the top 6 activities most conducive to human happiness and wellbeing are arts related. Putting it simply, for thousands of people across Cornwall culture
is already making their lives better. European Capital of Culture status will help us to extend the benefits of cultural activity to many more people across Cornwall including our most disadvantaged communities.
Our combination of world class heritage and our network of talented and creative individuals means that we have the edge. There are over 2000 volunteers actively supporting museums across Cornwall and many more who are passionate about Cornish heritage. We already have much of the infrastructure in place to make a real success of this bid.
Our museums contain the evidence of Cornish ingenuity, creativity and ambition which continues to shape the lives of people around the globe today. Our museums show that Cornwall has been a Capital of Culture for hundreds of years and we are excited about the opportunity that the European Capital of Culture competition gives us to share this with the world.