Agenda and minutes

Heritage Cabinet Working Group - Thursday, 14th November, 2019 4.30 pm

Venue: Lancaster Buildings, Newcastle, Staffs. View directions

Contact: Geoff Durham - 742222 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor Simon White.




There were no declarations of interest stated.




Resolved:     That the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September be agreed

                        as a correct record.




There were no matters arising.




Mr Foster introduced a report that had been tabled at the meeting.


It was proposed to appoint a Poet laureate for the Borough as part of the 850th anniversary celebrations.  The report also sought approval for this Panel to make the appointment.


The appointee would champion the 850th anniversary project to promote Newcastle’s heritage.  The person would have a local connection and commitment and also a profile to generate media interest.


Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire both had their own Poet Laureates who had been appointed on National poetry Day in October.


The Cabinet would be asked to produce a framework for making the appointment.


Councillor Wright asked how they would be selected.


Mr Foster advised that it would be advertised through the local literary network then a small working group would develop the criteria.


Councillor Heesom asked when it was envisaged for the person to be in place and was advised that at the latest, this should be October 2020.


Resolved:      That it be recommended that Cabinet:

(i)         That the position of Poet Laureate for the Borough of

                                    Newcastle-under-Lyme and the process and criteria for the

appointment and review, be established.


(ii)        That the cross party Heritage Panel, chaired by

Councillor Mark Holland be approved to make the

appointment of the inaugural Poet Laureate for the





Mr Foster updated Members of an opportunity for Newcastle to bid to become European Town of Sport in 2023 – the Borough’s Anniversary year.


In 2016, Stoke on Trent City Council was selected as the European City of Sport and a programme of events ran through that year. Mr Foster added that he was on the Steering Group for this and made reasonable contact with ACES Europe.


A town is selected each year.  Members were advised that very few UK towns had been selected in the past.  In addition, Brexit would not affect the award.  Towns that had won have been able to get EU funding but post Brexit this would not be available for the UK.


Members were advised that there was a fee of 3,000 for the award.  Castle Sport had indicated that they would be happy to cover this amount.


Mr Foster outlined the benefits of the award:


·         International recognition –

·         Legacy Active People Increased by 10%

·         Media impact - through TV, radio, internet, print.

·         Return of Investment

·         Active networking

·         Improvement of local sport policies

·         Possibility of getting EU Grants

·         Events


Members felt that this was worth exploring further and would bring the sporting community together.


Councillor Panter stated that Keele University participated in quidditch and suggested that sports played over the last 850 years could be revisited as part of the Borough’s application.


The Chair enquired as to where the ACES President was based and was advised that she was local.  The Chair went on to request that she be invited to attend a future meeting of this Working Group.


Resolved:     (i)        That the opportunity to bid to become European Town of

Sport in 2023 be investigated further, obtaining expertise from the relevant people where necessary.


(ii)      That the ACES Europe President be invited to attend a future meeting of this Working Group





The Chair advised that Planning Permission had recently been granted to carry out the proposed alterations to the Museum.


Mr Foster stated that an activity plan had recently been completed, showing what would be taking place in the new spaces.


The galleries and displays would be reconfigured to enable more collections to be on display.  In addition, there would be increased capacity for educational programmes and community activities.


The Plan would need to be submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund by 19 November, for consideration.  Members were advised that a response was still awaited from RED Industries and the CLAW Foundation.


It was hoped that works would commence on site in April, 2020 and would be completed in November of that year.


Once the application forms had been completed, consideration would be given as to what services would be offered during the six month’s renovations.  This may include the Museum going ‘on tour’ or setting up displays in some of the town’s empty shop units.


Councillor Rout stated that she was delighted that this was all moving forward and expressed her thanks to all involved.  The Chair echoed the comments.


Mr Foster stated that he was keen to have a presence in the town as he did not wish to lose the engagement with volunteers that currently existed.


Councillor Rout enquired as to whether engagement could be made with libraries across the Borough.  This in turn may identify a new group of volunteers.


Resolved:      That the information be received and the comments noted.  



Marking the 30th Anniversary of Newcastle’s participation.


The Council’s Head of Operations, Roger Tait briefed Members on events in connection with Britain in Bloom.


In 2020 it will be the thirtieth anniversary of Newcastle’s participation in the event. 


Newcastle had been successful in this event – in 2017 reaching the national finals and in 2018, representatives from the Council were invited to Belfast to the champion of Champions event.


Members were advised that it was an event that the community could become involved in and positive feedback was always received.  £65,000 of sponsorship was pulled in from local businesses.


A programme of projects and activities was being considered to celebrate, not just the thirtieth anniversary but also, looking at annual events.


Mr Tait advised Members of the following:


-       The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) had been to Newcastle with a film crew to film some of the projects that had been done.  The film would be used on the RHS website to promote wildlife gardens.

-       On the run up to Christmas, a new ‘snowdrops’ sculpture would be installed on the Northwood lane roundabout.

-       Early in 2020 the shrub beds in the Grosvenor Road roundabout would need to be looked at.

-       Planting would be done on the Whitmore Road roundabout where the cyclist sculptures are placed.

-       Gardens would be refurbished at Bradwell Crematorium and Brampton Park

-       Another mural would be produced in the Bridge Street subway.

-       Subject to funding, further sculpture is proposed on the Gallowstree Lane roundabout.

-       In 2020 Newcastle will host the Regional Heart of England in Bloom Awards Ceremony at Keele Hall.

-       The Council is working with Silverdale Parish Council to restore the mining memorial.

-       The local awards ceremony will be held at the new Vic Theatre in October, 2020 where a new ‘overall winner’ category may be introduced.


Beyond 2020 a ten year plan is proposed.  This would follow three themes:


Public Art – This would include sculptures and subway murals for example.


Parks – This would include healthy lifestyle projects at parks such as the Brampton and Lyme Valley.


Youth Engagement – Reaching out to groups that do not normally get involved.


Councillor Panter asked if there were any possible projects that could help to tackle knife crime and to get youth engagement.


Mr Tait advised that he would make enquiries to see if there was a way to do this.


The Council’s Head of Leisure and Cultural Services, Rob Foster stated that the Council now organised park runs on Sundays which attracted a couple of hundred people.


Also, at Clough Hall Park a cycling club had been launched.


The Chair asked if it would be possible to commission artworks on roundabouts outside of the town centre with sculptures that related to the Borough.


Mr Tait advised that the sculptures that had been erected to date were all unique to Newcastle.


The Chair thanked Mr Tait stating that there was a lot more to Britain in Bloom than just flowers.


Resolved:   That the information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.




Councillor Heesom gave an update on the Carnival Working Party, advising that they had been unable to get a committee in its own right but a sub-committee had been established through GROW North Staffs.


Contact had been made to discuss the possibility of dance troupes attending the Carnival.


The next meeting of the Carnival Working Party will be held on 25th November between 10am and 12pm at Castle House and anyone could go along to relay their ideas.