Businesses urged to commit to arts and culture with Creative Charter pledge

Businesses across Hull and East Yorkshire are being urged to pledge their commitment to arts and culture by signing up to a pioneering Creative Charter.

HEY Creative’s Chair Dominic Gibbons, left, and Chief Officer Max May have urged businesses to pledge their commitment to arts and culture by signing up to the pioneering Hull and East Yorkshire Creative Charter. Neil Holmes Photography.

The Hull and East Yorkshire Creative Charter is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, connecting businesses and other organisations to the power of cultural creativity.

Cultural partnership HEY Creative has issued a rallying call to leaders of private, public and third sector organisations to commit to supporting arts and culture by signing the Charter.

Arts and culture contribute over £35m to the economy in Hull and East Yorkshire and bring together communities in more than 250 venues around the region.

The Creative Charter aims to build on this and provide a long-term boost to the region’s vital culture and arts sector, which was energised by Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017 but has been impacted by the pandemic and economic pressures in recent years.

HEY Creative Chief Officer Max May launched the Creative Charter at the Humber Business Week Lunch on the opening day of the region’s annual celebration of business and enterprise.

He announced that several leading businesses and organisations had become Founding Signatories of the Creative Charter and urged others to follow their lead.

He said: “We passionately believe in the power of arts and culture to unite people from all corners of our region, driving growth, sparking ideas and innovation and promoting wellbeing.

“The arts sector delivers so much for our region, but it can’t do it all on its own. That’s why we’ve launched the Creative Charter, to encourage businesses and organisations to support and advocate for culture.

“Collaborating with the creative sector can spark fresh ideas which unlock growth opportunities and change the way companies approach challenges. We’re fortunate to have a rich and varied cultural scene across the region and the Creative Charter opens up opportunities for businesses and other organisations to tap into it.”

There is no cost or direct financial commitment required to join the Creative Charter. It is simply a declaration to collaborate with the arts sector for collective good.

Signatories can work with arts and cultural groups in a wide variety of ways, from simple acts like displaying local artwork on office walls to celebrating culture on their social media channels.

Other suggested actions include hosting a business breakfast to connect with arts and culture, donating staff time to support events, sponsoring activities and offering spare training course spaces to creatives free of charge.

Founding Signatories of the Creative Charter include Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the University of Hull, Hull College, Future Humber, For Entrepreneurs Only, the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, HullBID, Rollits LLP, The Deep and Hull Truck Theatre.

Dominic Gibbons, Chair of HEY Creative and Managing Director of Wykeland Group, another of the Founding Signatories of the Charter, said: “Together, through the power of arts and culture, we can unleash valuable potential for individuals, communities, businesses and the wider region.

“Arts and culture make us happier, healthier people. It brings our communities together, attracts and retains talent for business, and generates upwards of £35m a year for the region.

“We’re asking businesses and organisations, through the Hull and East Yorkshire Creative Charter, to join us in championing our region’s incredible arts and culture, for the benefit of everyone.”

Max May’s call for the region to come together behind the Creative Charter will be echoed by broadcaster and writer Gyles Brandreth when he hosts The Business Day, the finale of Business Week.

HEY Creative is the Cultural Compact for Hull and East Yorkshire, a cross-sector partnership that supports the region’s arts and cultural sector to thrive.

The Creative Charter asks businesses and organisations to make four pledges.

Businesses are asked to “unite”, to connect with arts and culture organisations and freelancers, and to “advocate” for Hull and East Yorkshire’s creative sector.

The third pledge, “grow”, encourages businesses to help the arts sector thrive, utilising creative organisations wherever possible and supporting them financially.

The fourth and final pledge is “include”, urging businesses to use their collective voice to create a fairer and more inclusive future for everyone in the region.

To sign up to the Hull and East Yorkshire Creative Charter, go to