(1) Purpose & Background

In 2021-22, Wrexham County submitted an application for UK City of Culture 2025.

UK City of Culture is a UK-wide programme, developed in collaboration with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The competition is run by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport (DCMS), inviting places across the UK to set out their vision for culture-led regeneration and takes place every four years.

The 2025 UK City of Culture competition follows the success of previous winning cities: Coventry in 2021, Hull in 2017 and Derry-Londonderry in 2013.

In the 2025 bid process, Wrexham came runner-up and WCBC has provided a commitment to apply for City of Culture 2029.

An Interim City of Culture Board is now being established to oversee and steer the work for Wrexham’s City of Culture campaign from Early 2023 to the establishment of a new Cultural and Community Trust anticipated to be in Early 2024.

Individuals will lend relevant skills, knowledge and experience towards the process of key decision making, strategy devising and overall direction and narrative of the Wrecsam2029 campaign.

The Council will hold a leading position in establishing the Cultural Community Trust. Once established, it is expected that the Trust will take leadership on formally bidding for UK City of Culture 2029.

(2) Objectives

  1. Using the relevant range of skills for this work to start the shaping for the application for City of Culture in 2025 (bidding process opens in 2025).
  2. To oversee and evaluate the work for City of Culture in 2023 including the development of a programme of activity, leading us through to the application in 2025.
  3. Oversee the arrangements for establishing an independent Board and creation of a full Trust.
  4. To make recommendations in support of and the identification of priorities to develop the future strategy for City of Culture.
  5. To contribute to qualitative and quantitative performance and progress outcomes.
  6. To develop communication and partnership working locally, nationally and internationally across the different operational elements of City of Culture.
  7. Influence the development of services to contribute to the cultural, economic and social benefits of City of Culture.
  8. Maximise the opportunities for collaboration, partnership working and strengthening international links.
  9. Actively encourage the involvement of local people in the ongoing delivery and development of City of Culture.
  10. To work alongside the Council to identify and develop as required, a Cultural Community Trust to oversee the City of Culture bid and campaign

(3) Membership and Ways of Working

1. Joanna Swash, CEO of Moneypenny, has been appointed as Interim Chair.

2. An interim board of 8-12 people will be appointed to provide leadership. A range of skills and appropriate values will be required as defined in the job description.

3. Interim Board Members can be representatives of the community of Wrexham County Borough and / or communities of interest with the appropriate skills and experience to support the key functions of the Interim Board.

Representation for the Interim Board should derive from each of the following sectors:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Individuals with International Connections
  • Business, Industry, Hospitality & Tourism
  • Education & Skills
  • Public Bodies e.g. British Council, Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales
  • Media Professionals

4. The interim board will work closely with Wrexham CBC who hold the resources and finance for this interim work and therefore have to be accountable for overall governance

5. The Board will meet approximately 6-10 times per year, scheduled to be determined once the Board has formed

6. Being an Interim Board member does not guarantee appointment to the full independent Board when this is formed in Early 2024

7. The Board will also include representation from WCBC Officers

8. The Interim Board may seek to co-opt other Members as required to meet a particular purpose.

9. Quorum will be 6 Members of the Interim Board, either in-person or remote attendance will be accepted.

10. Attendance at all meetings is encouraged. Where a Member is unable to attend apologies should be forwarded to the Chair and when necessary a suitable deputy with comparable skills and experience should attend. 24 hours prior notice should be given of any deputy attendance.

11. The Interim Board may remove any officer or Member who does not attend for 3 consecutive meetings without consent. Please note that sending a deputy will not remove risk of being removed from the Board. The Interim Board may remove any Member who continually impedes the business of the Interim Board or who, following appropriate investigation and right of reply, is found to have breached the standards expected of membership.

(4) Roles of Members

  1. Members of the Interim Board will be required to demonstrate the appropriate professional skills and experience necessary to assume an active role within the board. Members will be required to cover each of the following areas:
  • Contribution towards Wrexham’s City of Culture narrative and future bid submission
  • Programme Development
  • Business Planning, Fundraising and Financial Management
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Leadership & Strategy
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Equalities
  • Governance & Legal

2. Prospective Interim Board Members will be invited to submit written expressions of interest in support of the criteria set out above. The panel, made up of members of the City of Culture Executive Group, will shortlist the written submissions and hold interviews before confirming the final selections.

(5) Reporting and Accountability

  1. In the first instance the Interim Board will not be set up with a legal status and as such cannot enter into contracts, hold a budget or be held legally liable. All responsibilities relating to City of Culture will lie with the Council until the formation of the full Trust in early 2024.
  2. The Board is not a committee of the Council.

3. The Board will make recommendations to inform the Council’s approach to issues affecting City of Culture via Scrutiny (as requested) and to the relevant Lead Member responsible for presenting reports to the Executive Boards. The Council is not bound to accept recommendations from the Interim Board and in such instances the relevant Lead Member will be responsible for reporting back to the Board to explain the position of the Executive Board.

4. Full Members (including deputies) of the Interim Board will have voting rights. The business of the Board will be agreed by majority and in situations where a majority outcome cannot be reached the Chair will have the casting vote.

5. The Interim Board may invite non-Members to attend and contribute to specific agenda items as required.

6. Members will not be eligible for reimbursement of time or expenses for attending routine meetings of the Interim Board. In those instances where it is appropriate for a Member to attend an event or specific function out of the county borough and on behalf of the Interim Board / City of Culture, reasonable costs will be met by the Council.

(6) Frequency of Meetings

  1. The Interim Board will meet on a bi-monthly basis, and subsequently, as often as it deems necessary but shall call at least 6 meetings per year.

(7) Transparency & Standards

  1. The Board membership will uphold and promote the Seven Principles of Public Life (Nolan Principles).
  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Accountability
  • Openness
  • Honesty
  • Leadership

2. Interim Board members will be expected to declare an interest in any item under consideration if they have a personal or prejudicial interest. In these circumstances and depending on the type of interest declared, they may be required to withdraw from the meeting.

3. The Interim Board will take into account relevant legislation including but not limited to: The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, General Data Protection Regulations & The Data Protection Act 2018, The Equality Act 2010, Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.