How culture and Olympic ‘urban sports’ can revitalise high streets – The Yorkshire Post says

IT is indicative of the contribution that the Arts Council has made to the nation’s cultural heritage that its work has never been more important as it prepares to mark its 75th anniversary.

Hull was the nation's City of Culture in 2017.

This is illustrated by its desire to place arts at the forefront of plans to revitalise those high streets and communities that were already in decline before the Covid pandemic struck.

Entitled A High Street Renaissance, it is compelling reading for policy-makers, retail bosses and all those tasked with coming up with new ideas to reinvigorate town centres and boost footfall to counter store closures.

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Culture can play an integral role in this – just look at the extent to which the regeneration of Hull and Wakefield, to cite just two of many examples in this region alone, has been built on the back of the arts.

This was 13-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown winning a breathtaking Olympic bronze medal yesterday.

This explains, in part, why two thirds of people living in the North say that culture makes them feel proud of where they live – there’s a far greater appreciation of the value of leisure to their quality of life.

But, just as civic pride is palpable when it comes to the arts and culture, Yorkshire’s Olympians and Paralympians continue to define the spirit of this county.

And as the world becomes captivated by the electrifying presence of so-called ‘urban sports’ such as freestyle BMX riding and skateboarding thanks to the brilliance of Charlotte Worthington, Sky Brown and others, this is a timely opportunity for regeneration plans to include the type of leisure facilities which clearly appeal to young people – and especially all those seeking a safe environment to pursue their hobbies.

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