Culture Perth & Kinross are now ONE!

May 3, 2017 by Perthshire Creates

Culture Perth & Kinross (CPK) have recently just celebrated their 1st Birthday!  Just over a year ago we published the post Introducing Culture Perth & Kinross which detailed how the new trust would work to deliver the cultural services and support the creative community throughout Perth & Kinross.

The vision of Culture Perth & Kinross is to be at the Heart of a Cultural Community that connects people, ideas, knowledge and collections and the Mission is to develop and deliver a range of creative and innovative services, public programmes and partnerships which collaborate and engage with a wide and diverse audience in the best of local, national and international culture.  

The way in which cultural venues such as libraries and museums operate and deliver services, in what is the biggest and fastest period of change since the Industrial Revolution, is developing as customer behaviours are changing.  In today’s ‘Information Revolution’ there’s been a real shift in how people use cultural services, and developing ways in which visitors can utilise the resources is all part of what Cultural Perth & Kinross aim to deliver, e.g.: there’s an increase in the interest in local history and ancestry research and the use of social media and online engagement continues to grow.

Operating as a charitable trust, CPK are commissioned by Perth & Kinross Council to deliver:

  • 13 public libraries including 4 community Campus Libraries and the AK Bell Library who have seen 614,000 visitors in 2016/17
  • 4 mobile librares who have had 31,163 visits in the same period
  • Council and public Archive services and local and family history services which between them have dealt with 3,586 research enquiries
  • 3 Museum & Gallery Services Perth Museum & art Gallery, the Fergusson Gallery and Alyth Museum, which have seen an increase of 10.6% overall in their visitors numbers, an increase of 6,500 visits
  • Creative Learning and support to Creative Industries through the Perthshire Creates Network
  • Customer and visitor satisfaction with CPK services is at 90%

AK Bell Library with the colourful banners created by Crieff based Fun Makes Good

With a dedicated staff team of 120 and a record number of volunteers (210 volunteers have gifted 6,000+ hours in the first three quarters of the first year alone), CPK are constantly working to provide opportunities for everyone of all ages to engage with the cultural sector.  In addition to the exhibitions and displays, a programme of events, workshops, talks and activities including author and book signing events fill the calendar, details of which can be found both on the What’s On section on the Culture Perth & Kinross website or picked up in person from any CPK venue.

New events and initiatives have been introduced to support the creative and cultural community within the area, such as the inaugural Platform Festival – a week long event at the end of March, developed to celebrate and showcase the contemporary creative and cultural side of Perth & Kinross, both challenging the creative community and audiences to discover something different.

Selection of events & activities from the inaugural Platform Festival, March 2017

In addition CPK supports a number of key priorities for the Council:

  • Giving every child the best start in life: supported with an increase in child library membership, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Bookbug & Rhymetime programmes and the Messy Museum events.
  • Developing educated, responsible and informed citizens:providing access to information including the Heritage Learning programme in partnership with the Gannochy Trust and running the Creative Learning Network, providing professional development events for teachers through the region.
  • Promoting a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economy: establishing free foreign language book exchange in several libraries and the Polish Shopka displays and related workshops in Perth Museum.
  • Supporting people to lead independent, healthy and active lives: providing books on wheels, book aloud and NHS books on prescription and Bibliotherapy services.

Culture Perth & Kinross  have also supported Perth & Kinross Council’s development of their UK City of Culture bid Perth2021 and will continue to do so.

Looking ahead, Culture Perth & Kinross will continue to deliver another year of books, talks, workshops, learning, history, heritage and art to the region, whilst also playing a key role in working with the Council to deliver on the ambitions for Culture and in particular the capital development programme which will see the delivery of a new Collections Store, a new attraction in the City Hall and the redevelopment of Perth Museum and Art gallery.