The Sixty Six project is a major consultation project led by Eden Arts and funded by Arts Council England and five local authorities to address the needs and propose changes to the area defined by the A66. Supporting the process and consultation are Manchester-based culture tourism agency, Creative Tourist Consults and Glasgow-based architecture and mapping practice, Lateral North.
The Sixty Six project is about making a coherent argument supported by action proposals for partnership working across the region, bringing together the smaller scales of Cumbria (popn 500k) and Tees Valley (800k) to combine the thinking and seek mutual strategies for them as a ‘region’ of 1.3m people. This is not a proposal for making a new administrative function; it is about working together to achieve the betterment of all.
The research has included holding senior stakeholder workshops in Whitehaven, Penrith, Darlington and Middlesbrough; meeting MPs in their constituencies and parliament, including Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister gathering together evidence and examples of similar issues and work from across Europe. The Sixty Six has become about thinking about these places jointly as a new ‘region’ or identity to enable economies of scale; a strengthened voice; a knowledge exchange to bring about increased livability for young(er) people; a perception shift; an exemplar in sustainable living and tourism; whilst also maximising the opportunities digital technology can offer.
The A66 goes from the west coast of Cumbria to the east coast of Teesmouth. It crosses lots of constituencies, districts
(Copeland, Allerdale, Eden, County Durham, Tees Valley Combined Authority - Stockton, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland), and two LEPs (Cumbria and Tees Valley). The aim is to create proposals for how a new (or re-newed) identity can be created that brings together and enhances the ‘overlooked lands’ - those areas in close proximity to the road, which are described as such by stakeholders.
From this consultation, Eden Arts, Creative Tourist, and Lateral North have drawn together a vision and proposal for the
route centred around four key themes:
Culture - how do we work together to bring more, do more and produce more across the area?
Sustainability - how do we make ourselves known as ‘the green place’?
Digital - how can we create and encourage digital excellence, and what would that mean?
Livability - how do we make this the best and most liveable place - especially for the under 35s?
If you wish to know more please contact Eden Arts Director on adrian.lochhead (at) edenarts.co.uk
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