A STRATEGIC appointment has been made to support the development of place and culture for the North.

Clare Devaney has joined The NP11 group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships as Strategic Lead. She will further the NP11’s aim to ensure that the North is recognised as a culturally vibrant and economically successful place by utilising cultural assets and place-based approaches. Her priority will be positive placemaking: recognising the role culture, heritage and landscape will play in the drive towards economic recovery in the North.

Clare, who will be working out of Cumbria LEP in the role, has a deep understanding of both LEPs and the arts, culture and heritage sectors, she has previously worked as a Research Fellow and associate for the North with the Royal Society of Arts

Clare said: “We have a rich and diverse cultural offering and significant heritage and environmental assets in the North, and we are justifiably proud of our places, our people, our creativity and talent. The pandemic has dramatically underlined the significance of space, place, culture and connectivity, and at the same time has exposed the challenges and disparities in our structures and systems.

“As we look toward recovery, there is an opportunity for us to work collaboratively as a unified pan-Northern voice to not only respond to the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, but to utilise the significant strength of our combined assets to shape what that means in practice.

“And as we look to support new approaches to development across our cities, towns, rural centres and High Streets, this is the time for us to restate with pride and confidence the case for Northern culture, for Northern communities and for the North, particularly as people find and exercise more freedoms in terms of location decisions and work/life balance.

“This is a critical period for our arts, cultural and heritage sectors, and for our tourism and leisure sectors, and we must work with all of our collective strength to support and secure their recovery, resilience and future flourishing.

“I am hugely excited by the potential for this role and look forward to working with the NP11, with arts, cultural, heritage and environmental partners and stakeholders, and with the North’s rich and diverse communities of place, enquiry and interest in taking this agenda forward.”