A LEADING figure from Lancashire's creative sector has been appointed the new chair of Creative Lancashire and she is already looking to support the sector during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jenny Rutter's work led to the foundation of Creative Lancashire, and now she returns to champion, promote and support the creative sector in her new role.
Creative Lancashire is dedicated to helping raise the profile of Lancashire's creative talent and to harnessing the economic potential in companies and organisations working in the sector.
The service is provided by Lancashire County Council through its economic development company Lancashire County Developments Ltd. The county council says it recognises the crucial role that creativity and innovation play in driving the economy and that the creative sector has never been more important, as we all deal with the impact of the coronavirus and the new restrictions.
Jenny, who lives in Preston, said: "The creative sector has always been very agile and flexible, adapting quickly to meet new challenges. And the current challenge from the coronavirus is one affecting businesses and creative practitioners right across the globe.
"We'll be working to support our whole creative sector during this time, while also reminding partners and businesses of the importance of creativity and design in helping to open up new opportunities and bring something new to the table."
A producer with two decades' experience supporting and developing creative practice in the North West, Jenny's career has included local government regeneration, creative industries and professional development roles as well as managing and producing a wide variety of creative industry and arts programmes, including major festivals and events.
A founding board member of the Lancashire 2025 City of Culture bid company, Jenny has most recently been working with two Arts Council England Creative People and Places programmes: LeftCoast in Blackpool and Super Slow Way in Pennine Lancashire.
LeftCoast is a programme of arts, culture and creative activity and Super Slow Way is an arts programme focused on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, involving local communities.
Jenny also co-developed the first British Textile Biennial, which invites artists, designers and makers to explore the politics of cloth in performances, artworks and events across Pennine Lancashire.
Jenny takes over from Charles Hadcock, businessman and sculptor, who held the role for 15 years.
Creative Lancashire exists to strengthen existing businesses, support new enterprises and to raise the competitiveness and profile of the creative and digital sector in Lancashire. This includes advocating for creativity and design, building collaborations and networking opportunities, offering creative and digital business advice, and providing information on finance, funding and growth.
Find out more about Creative Lancashire online at: www.creativelancashire.org