Selby District Cultural Framework Consultation
Please note this is the long form questionnaire and will take approx. 15 - 30 minutes to complete. If you don't have time to respond to the questions below you can skip to our short form questionnaire where we just ask ---- "If you only have time to tell us one thing about your hopes or ideas for culture in Selby District it would be ..."
Access the short form here -
The deadline for all responses is - Friday 27th November 2020, 5pm


Selby District Council is developing a cultural framework for the District and is looking to get the views, thoughts and ideas of as many people, organisations and companies as possible across the district and beyond.


This framework will help to identify the cultural activity already happening in the area, what the people of the District want to see in the future and how culture can be used to make the District an even better place to live, work and visit. The framework will:

* Put communities at the heart of the vision for culture
* Strengthen the cultural sector
* Involve more people in cultural activity, creativity and heritage
* Make Selby District a place to be even prouder of
* Deliver activity which responds to the uniqueness of Selby District,
* Ensure culture contributes to wellbeing, place-making and economy of the district
* Ensure there is partnership working with funders and other organisations to maximise the impact of culture

It will be a document that will not only provide background, justification for investing in culture, strategic priorities and themes, but will also have a detailed five year action plan with specific projects and ambitions.


What do we mean by culture and why is a cultural framework relevant to you? The term ‘culture’ means different things to different people but culture is relevant to everyone as we all experience it in our own ways. This could include museums, libraries, theatres, cinemas, galleries, carnivals, choirs, storytelling, podcasts, filmmaking, animation, writing, poetry, festivals, performances, concerts, sports, food, leisure, heritage or crafts to name a few. It could be about going to events, enjoying walks in the countryside, learning new skills, finding out more about the history of the area, spending time with others and having fun.


Beam, an arts and culture organisation based in Yorkshire, has been commissioned by the Council to develop this framework. We have been working for a number of months researching the District and understanding what is special and important about the area. The next stage is to talk to a wider range of people and organisations across the district to get your thoughts and feed into the final document.


Selby District Council has long term plans for regeneration - economic, housing, culture and physically - and is working in a coordinated way to ensure everyone can benefit. Selby District Council place a great importance on the role that culture can play in the future of the district. This could be about more pieces of public art in the new regeneration schemes, outdoor spaces for performances, more programmes of events like Selby 950, support for creative practitioners/ arts organisations, heritage projects that look at the stories of the District, workshops where you can try out new things or events and festivals that attract people from all over the region and beyond.

The last six months has been a time of great uncertainty, change and challenges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic. Some things will go back to how they were, some things may stay changed forever. What it has shown is the importance of people being able to take part in cultural activities, to share stories, to bring communities together, to escape day to day life and to think ahead.

The need for opportunities for people to share their experiences, to have activities on their doorstep, to express themselves and to enjoy themselves are greater than ever. This is therefore an opportunity for Selby District to really enhance the cultural activity in the area, building on what people want and make more people aware of what makes the area so special.


Beam is now sharing some initial ideas and looking for your thoughts. This is the chance for you to say what cultural activities are important to you, what good things happen already in the District, what is missing and what you’d like to see in the future. Below are some prompts for discussion around a series of themes. Feel free to disagree or agree with any of them, what is important is to get your thoughts and ideas. This will make a real difference as to where priorities lie for culture for the next 5 years and beyond and how money will be spent or funds raised.

You don’t have to respond to any or all of these prompts. The aim is to encourage ideas and to give you the opportunity to contribute directly to the development of the Cultural Framework, we want to hear everyone’s views and you can say as much or as little as you like in response, what is important is finding out how you feel.

Firstly could we ask you to provide some information about yourself, please be assured all this information will remain private and will not be shared with the Council. Your comments and thoughts will not be attributed directly to you. All the information will be collected and stored securely in line with Beam’s privacy policy, a copy of which can be found here

Please Note - you do not have to complete this information and may submit an anonymous response if you wish.

Organisation (if applicable)
Email address - (if you would like us to provide you with updates on the developing Cultural Framework)
Postcode of where you live, or work if an organisation
1. SELBY DISTRICT IS A DISTINCTIVE AND UNIQUE PLACE Throughout the initial research people have said Selby District is a distinctive and unique place, but what does this mean? Do you think Selby District is distinctive and unique? What do you think makes Selby District distinctive and unique?
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2. AUTHENTICITY The word used regularly throughout the initial research is that anything that happens in the area needs to be authentic, perhaps this is what makes the area distinctive and unique. The fact that any future activity should grow from what is special about the area and not be parachuted in from elsewhere. What does the authenticity of Selby District mean to you? Do you think authenticity is important?
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3. WHAT DO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES MEAN TO YOU? We have set out a broad definition of what culture and cultural activities could be, but what do they mean to you? Do you attend events already? If so what kind? Do you take part in workshops? Are culture, arts and heritage important to you? Do you feel culture, arts and heritage are not important to you? What is missing in Selby District that you’d like to see? Do you visit things or take part in activities outside the district that you’d like to see take place here?
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4. WHAT IS SELBY DISTRICT DOING ALREADY? There are already a range of activities taking place across the area, activities such as the Tadcaster Lantern Festival, performances at Selby Town Hall or festivals in Sherburn. Are there events, activities, venues or workshops that are already in the area that you think are good examples? What has been successful? What would you like to see more of? What is missing? What would you not like to see?
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5. SELBY DISTRICT’S HERITAGE The district has a long and illustrious history, some of which not many people know about. There is shipbuilding, plane and airship building, brewing, Selby Abbey, the port and the Roman settlements amongst other things, with many stories to tell and share. What does Selby District have in its past that it should be proud of? Is there anything about the District’s past that more people should know about? How do you think more people can find out about Selby District’s heritage?
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6. ACTIVITIES IN VILLAGES The district has a range of village halls and community centres that could be used for a range of events and activities. It is not just about having events and activities in the main towns. Would you like to see more happen in your direct local area? If you would like to see more, what kind of things? Where could they take place?
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7. REGENERATION PLANS There is clear evidence coming through in the range of strategies and reports of a long term, considered, joined up approach by the Council to regeneration. The Council see cultural activity as an integral part of what takes place, not as an add on. What role do you think culture can play in how the district looks physically in the future, what kind of jobs there are, where money is invested and how people see the area? Would you like to see more public art? What role can culture play in regeneration? With big changes on the High Street with shops closing what cultural activities could take the place on a temporary or permanent basis? What cultural activities would you look to see take place in the town centres of Selby, Tadcaster and Sherburn?
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8. PHYSICAL SPACES The district doesn’t have large numbers of dedicated physical spaces for cultural activities such as a museum or cinema. Selby Town Hall, the Riley Smith Hall and the Eversley Park Centre are successful and well loved venues. Selby Abbey aimed (before Covid-19) to organise more activities in the building. Do there need to be more new specific buildings for cultural activities? Should use be made of what is there already, both in terms of buildings and outside spaces?
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9. SKILLS AND TRAINING There are opportunities to use cultural activities as a way of learning new skills (for example write poetry, how to paint or organise events or fill in a funding application), building confidence, generating income and developing new employment. Are there new skills you’d like to learn? What would you like to see? Are you an organisation that would like to organise more creative projects? What would help?
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10. ARTISTS, CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS OR CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS There are already some artists, creative individuals and creative / heritage organisations in the District but not as many as other similar areas. Many have to work outside the area, there isn’t a full understanding of who is in the area and what support they may need. Are you an artist, or creative individual who already has income from their work or would like to generate income in the future?What could be done to help you develop what you are doing both in terms of skills and income? Are you based in Selby District, but do most of your work outside the area? Are you outside the area, but would like to work more in the area? What would help? Do you class yourself as a cultural organisation? What would help you thrive and grow?
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11. WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS The opportunities for taking part in cultural activities in the district are limited in comparison with other areas, we are looking to find out more about why this is and what more could be done to change the situation. Whether you’re an artist, a cultural organisation or an audience member what are the barriers that are stopping you do more or taking part? Is it the lack of activity, the location, the cost, transport, knowing about it, confidence or time? What could be done to reduce or remove those barriers?
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12. WHAT DIFFERENCE CAN THE CULTURAL FRAMEWORK MAKE? It is considered by the Council that a cultural framework is an important document, not only for culture in itself, but also the inclusive regeneration of the area and to help increase the economy of the area. Do you agree? What difference can the cultural framework make?
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13. WHAT DOES CULTURE MEAN TO YOU? As mentioned culture can mean many different things to people, there is no one definition but we are looking to get an idea of people’s thoughts and whether you feel culture is important to you? When you hear the word culture in Selby District what does it mean to you?What part does culture play in your life?
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14. AMBITION: ONE BIG IDEA Finally a large open ended question to get your thoughts. If money was no object what cultural activity, event, building or anything else culture related would you like to see happen in Selby District?
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15. Do you have any other comments?
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