Councillor Phil Bale provided this statement as an opening to our first Creating Cardiff workshop which took place on Friday, 17 March: 

"I am delighted to be here today and to be involved with this new and exciting partnership initiative between the Creative and Cultural Sector, Cardiff University and the City of Cardiff Council.

You are all aware that the Council has faced unprecedented financial pressures over recent years. And that as a result we have struggled to maintain the same high level of financial investment historically sustained by the authority over many years.

However, while our financial resources have been depleted our commitment to maintaining the city’s cultural offer and to continue to work positively with local stakeholders has not. This is why partnerships and initiatives like this are even more important. It is clear to me that we need to be smarter about the way we deliver services, and more innovative about what we do, and how we support things.

I have spoken before about cities needing stories, vibrant, exciting, interesting stories. Stories that speak of a place and the people who live there, stories that speak of a shared future and a common goal. This is our chance to work together to make arts and culture part of our story.

Cardiff’s ambition is to be a global capital of creativity. That narrative needs to be developed and, critically, it needs to be developed and owned by all of us. Today is your opportunity to inform that story.

The City of Cardiff Council will be scoping how we can best play our part in this development as an equal partner with you all and I look forward to hearing what part you will each play in realising this vision.

In Cardiff’s recent liveable city report we recognise that culture has an important role to play in helping make Cardiff Europe’s most liveable capital city, equally we recognise the importance of arts and culture in enabling us to meet the objectives of the Well-being and Future Generations act.

We know that arts and culture cements communities, how it can empower, break down barriers and have wide benefits, including social and health benefits for the city. Our creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy and arts and culture is critical to the future of the sector’s sustained and continued growth.

I am particularly pleased that, from our initial Cultural Conversation sessions, and with the support of Creative Cardiff and the Arts Council of Wales we are now at a tipping point – of turning the talking into doing. This partnership represents the opportunity to move forward together through a collaborative programme of practical actions cemented in a shared strategy which will ensure that we continue to work together to deliver real benefits to the city.

I’d like to thank Creative Cardiff and all of you for getting involved. We look forward to working with you all so that Cardiff can continue to develop its thriving arts, culture and creative industries and that together we can cement the city’s reputation as a celebrated capital of creativity."