The North East of England's Case for Culture is a bold plan to raise £300 million for art projects. Instead of being an adjunct to development culture is seen as the key to the region's redevelopment. But only a few years ago Newcastle cut its arts budget entirely. Organisations are exploring new ways of working. Jim Beirne of Live Theatre takes John Wilson to the pub the theatre runs, the profits of which pay for a new play every year. It also owns restaurants and prime office space, to fund its theatre and outreach projects.
The Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell has just launched a new organisation, Magnetic North East, to foster the identity, music and traditions of the North East. It has released an album of songs and tunes, new and old, about the River Tyne, by artists ranging from Jimmy Nail to the Unthanks. Last Friday it held a grand concert in the region's village hall - Auditorium One of The Sage, featuring famous North East artists such as Paul Smith of the band Maximo Park, young folk musicians and a host of children giving a world premiere of a work by David Almond.
Kathryn Tickell, John Mowbray - the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear, and a prime mover in the Case for Culture, David Almond, who wrote Skellig, the Olivier Award winning playwright, Shelagh Stephenson, whose new play is set in her hometown of Tynemouth, all contribute to John Wilson's exploration, as he rambles around Newcastle, of the role of art in the regeneration of the North East of England.
Presenter: John Wilson
Producer: Julian May.