Panel tackles challenges facing creative industries at Royal & Derngate question time

The Royal & Derngate's cinema, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse. ENGNNL00120130619123413
The Royal & Derngate's cinema, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse. ENGNNL00120130619123413

The future of the cultural and creative sector was debated at a special Question Time event hosted by Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

The event, held in the Errol Flynn Filmhouse, attracted creative industry figures from across the country including Chair of Arts Council England, Sir Peter Bazalgette, award-winning playwright Roy Williams and Royal & Derngate’s Artistic Director James Dacre, along with Catherine Hemelryk, Artistic Director of NN Contemporary Art and Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

The evening was hosted by broadcaster and theatre critic Libby Purves and explored the question “What should the cultural and creative sector be prioritising in order to thrive?”

As well as giving their individual responses to the title question posed, the panel took questions from the floor on issues ranging from leadership, attitudes to risk, the pressures on philanthropy, and the need for accessibility and diversity, to working collaboratively both with partner organisations and local enterprise partnerships and the possibilities offered by working with social causes.

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of Royal & Derngate, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse and The Core at Corby Cube, said: “We’re delighted that this event has sparked some lively debate.

“Our Cultural Question Time is the latest in a series of local initiatives with which we have been involved that are intended to encourage artists, organisations, creative entrepreneurs, funders and audiences to come together to consider the issues that affect them most and to find creative solutions to ensure that the sector continues to thrive.”

The event coincided with the Arts Council England recent announcement that Royal & Derngate had been awarded a £100,000 grant towards the purchase of new digital equipment for the planned second screen at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse.