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Our Cultural Commons: a joint initiative from ADUK & Voluntary Arts

LogoVoluntary_ArtsWorking in collaboration with Arts Development UK, Voluntary Arts is seeking a consultant on a freelance basis to undertake some initial mapping and scoping to lay the ground for a major national conversation. At the end of September 2014, the two UK-wide organisations that specifically support and represent local creative cultural activity, Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, will be launching a major new initiative to:
• collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and then promote best practice
• provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the problems facing local cultural infrastructure and organisation and the debate on the nature of the cultural commons that we aspire to in the future
• empower and support the voice of those ‘local’ ambitions in debates on future national cultural policies, structures and funding.

Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK will:
• launch Our Cultural Commons as a UK and Ireland-wide ‘debate’ at the end of September 2014
• manage an online debate to collect evidence of existing innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure and provide a space for discussion of potential solutions to the immediate problems faced by local cultural infrastructure
• run a series of roundtable discussions, ‘town hall meetings’ and other events as part of the UK and Ireland-wide debate
• organise a major conference in June 2015

The contract
The main task is to undertake an initial mapping and scoping exercise to gather, collate and edit input from Arts Development UK members, as well as Voluntary Arts staff and advisers (across the UK and Republic of Ireland). We want to collect a range of models of innovative local collaborative practice to sustain and develop local cultural infrastructure, including examples from urban, rural, prosperous, disadvantaged and diverse communities – identifying local examples that could be used in influencing national cultural policy, structures and funding. The task will involve a period of research and information-gathering, follow-up by phone, and analysis, to create a summary document detailing the overall findings and identifying potential case studies. Several of these case studies will then be selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, to be developed by the consultant for online publication. The consultant will work closely with the Chair of Voluntary Arts, Peter Stark OBE, and the Chair of Arts Development UK, Jane Wilson, who are jointly leading the Our Cultural Commons initiative.

The contract will deliver:
• An initial mapping and scoping of emerging new models of local cultural infrastructure and identification of potential case studies
• The development of case studies, selected by Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK, in support of innovative and emerging models for local cultural infrastructure, to be published online to support a more visible launch of a national conversation about this in autumn 2014
• Advice, expertise and information gathering to support Voluntary Arts and Arts Development UK’s preparation for the national conversation

The contract will be managed through direct reporting to Robin Simpson, Chief Executive of Voluntary Arts.

Further practical details:

• Fee and expenses: £4250 (inclusive VAT), with three payments of 30% on commencement, 40% at the midway reporting point with the Chief Executive, and 30% after completion.
• We anticipate the contract may require approximately 10-12 days’ work over a 6-week period.
• Submission: by email, CV and two page covering letter (deadline: 5pm on Friday 8 August).
• Appointment: in mid-August 2014.
• Submission: by end of September 2014.

Applying for this freelance contract
Please submit your application (CV and two page covering letter) by 5pm Friday 8 August at the latest. We prefer electronic submissions, sent to lindsey@voluntaryarts.org. Paper applications should be addressed to Lindsey Jackson, Voluntary Arts, Ground Floor, 121 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9PH.

For an informal, confidential discussion about the contract please contact Robin Simpson,
Voluntary Arts Chief Executive, on 01525 288067 or email robin@voluntaryarts.org. You may also find it useful to visit the Voluntary Arts website at: www.voluntaryarts.org.

Please find a more detailed brief for the contract here: OurCulturalCommons-ConsultancyOpportunity

Good luck with your application.

Welcome to Arts Development UK!

What is AD:UK?
Arts Development UK is a professional association for people working in arts and cultural development in England and Wales.

Its values are that AD:UK should be:
• Creative and collaborative
• Forward thinking and flexible
• Professional and passionate.

Who should be a member?
Anyone working in a role which encourages the development of arts and cultural activities to improve quality of life, aspiration and opportunities for people in places and communities.

This includes individuals such as artists, policy-makers, managers, officers, consultants/freelance and organisations eg community, arts, heritage, museums and libraries and local authorities.

What are the key benefits of membership?
• Access to member areas of this website with special content
• A weekly e-zine (cited as the ‘go to’ source of information for policy updates, opportunities and professional knowledge)
• Advocacy for individuals and the industry sector
• Annual conference and seminars
• CPD accreditation through the Professional Fellowship Programme
• Access to a UK-wide network of experienced professionals (Skills & Knowledge Bank)
• Up-to-the minute information and analysis
• A collective strength for the protection of arts and culture in UK society

There are many more – please follow this link for a full description of AD:UK.

How do I join AD:UK?
Members are welcomed as individuals or organisations. Membership details are available here.

The website
Anyone can access this website as either a member or non-member of AD:UK. There is plenty of interesting content to read. However, to get the full benefit, you will need to be a paid-up AD:UK member to access all areas, such as member directories and key documents. You will need an AD:UK access key to view restricted pages which you will receive on joining AD:UK as a paid member.

You can also sign up  to receive a weekly digest of posts from this site, using the link on the left, whether you are an AD:UK member or not.

Join ADUK now for 2014/15 – fees frozen at last year’s levels

April 2014 sees the start of Arts Development UK’s new membership year and we are pleased to announced the membership fees have been fixed at last year’s levels.

Meaning that:

  • Personal membership for individuals working in the arts or creative industries can join at £80+VAT (£96 total)
  • Standard Organisational membership is just £175 + VAT (£210) for organisations  through a named officer
  • Group Organisational membership is available where more than one person in an organisation wants to join: Group membership for up to 5 named officers is £275 + VAT (£330) and for up to 10 named officers is £300 + VAT (£360)
  • Students and people in between jobs can join for £42 + VAT (£50.40)

Group Organisational Membership offers the best value for money for larger organisations where more than one person wants to become a member,  saving £75+VAT on two standard organisational memberships.

Becoming an AD:UK member gets you access to:

Professional development opportunities

  • Development of skills and professional competencies
  • Structured Induction & Buddying programmes
  • A Professional Fellowship Programme available to all members
  • A new Skills and Knowledge Bank, with opportunities for skills and knowledge exchange with members across the UK


  • Regional Groups, which offer support, study visits, information and skills exchange
  • Opportunities to gain valuable management experience
  • A major annual conference and national seminar programme – this year’s national conference will be taking place at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 16th & 17th October and members are able to register at a discounted rate.

Research, Information & knowledge resources

  • The weekly E-Zine with headline news and a weekly assessment of fundraising and grants available for the sector (which may otherwise cost over £200 in individual subscriptions to external sources)
  • A growing range of IT based information and knowledge resources including our web-site: www.artsdevelopmentuk.org with a wide variety of information resources, Twitter and Facebook feeds and on-line forums to exchange news and views.

We also organise the annual national local authority arts investment survey which is a national indicator for the state of the sector and useful lobbying tool.

If you want to find out more about member benefits you can download the 2014 Arts Development UK Membership Benefits form or get in touch at artsdevuk@aol.com

Arts Development UK Advocacy & Research Group is looking for new members

LogoADUK are developing a new working party to assist us in the development of a new advocacy and research programme. This will serve three major purposes:
• to enable us to be more responsive to the research needs of our members
• to enable us to gather and participate in national research programmes and projects, and
• to represent and advocate on behalf of the arts development sector at a national level.
The Working party will also oversee continuing research programmes, including the annual local authority arts investment survey, which is currently underway.

We need new members for the working party from our membership, and people that can help us to continue to develop stronger advocacy and research strands in our annual programme. If you would like more information about the working party, or would like to volunteer to join us at our first meeting on 8th August in London from 13.30 – 16.00, please call 01269 824728 or email Pete Bryan at artsdevuk@aol.com.

Public Services: The value of cultural commissioning national seminars

LogoA range of presentations from the 2 recent national seminars on cultural commissioning are now available to download and share. The presentations are included in the Resources section of the website and you are also able to access them through a hot button on the front page of our website at www.artsdevelopmentuk.org. We also intend to include audio downloads of the keynote speeches soon, so watch this space for more information.

ACE National Portfolio funding decision announced

ACEACE have announced their new 3 year funding programme. ACE are investing £340 million in the National portfolio each year (based on 2015/16 figures) – and that’s 670 organisations

  • over £22 million will be invested in Major partner museums, with an additional £13 million of annual strategic funding set aside to support museums in England
  • £6 million of additional strategic funding has been allocated to focus on diversity in the sector

The arts budget for 2015-18 includes three main funding streams:

  • National portfolio for arts organisations programme budget of £271m of grant in aid and approximately £60m a year of National Lottery funding. This is more than double the £28.3m a year in lottery money in 2014/15.
  • An increase to the grants for the arts budget to £69.6m lottery funding to support individual artists, community and cultural organisations.
  • A strategic fund budget of £127m lottery funding to support the wider development of arts organisations, participants and audiences across England.

The museums budget for 2015/16 will also include three main grant in aid funding streams:

  • Major partner museums (MPM) will increase to £21.5m a year in 2015/16 to encourage a greater geographical spread
  • In keeping with arts funding, the museums strategic budget will work alongside MPM funding to target particular challenges, opportunities or gaps.
  • For the first time a new open access grants fund will invite applications from museums to support diversity and the development of resilience at a time of change.

The Arts Council has seen reductions to grant in aid of 36% since 2010. The previous 3 year national portfolio funded included 703 organisations. The new national portfolio sees investment of around £1billion in 670 arts organisations from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2018.  46 new organisations have been accepted into the funding programme with 58 leaving. The number of major museum partners rises from 16 to 21.


In the past few years, ACE has shifted the balance of Lottery expenditure, so that 70% of it is now invested outside London. The proposed portfolio also shows an increase of 2% to Grant-in-Aid funding for organisations based outside London. This continues a trend that will see London’s share of Grant-in-Aid funding change from 51% in 2011/12 to 47% in 2015/16. The new portfolio increases investment to the South West, South East, Midlands and North.


The English National Opera gets a 32.7% cut. The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre get a 6.7% cut. New entrants include the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazz north, Corn Exchange in Newbury and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures with £1.3m. In terms of money by art form, dance was the biggest winner. It will receive 9.4% more money, while music goes down 4.3%, visual arts down 2.6% and theatre down 0.4%.


ACE’s commitment to children and young people is at the heart of their mission and goals. The new portfolio shows increased dedication to this and contains many organisations producing imaginative work for children and young people. The promotion of Artsmark and Arts Award will be priorities for portfolio organisations. Eight National youth music organisations have been brought into the portfolio, enabling them to work closely with other strands of music education that ACE manage, including the national music education hubs and the In Harmony projects. For more details about the new National Portfolio, click: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/funding-programmes/national-portfolio-funding-programme/

Arts Development UK LinkedIn Group

As a way of exploring how we can better communicate with members and encourage members to connect with each other we have now set up a LinkedIn group. Although we have a Facebook page we recognise that members choose not to use Facebook for work purposes and wanted to see if there were other ways that can ask for member opinions and encourage discussions outside of conferences, seminars and national meetings. You can request to join the group by clicking this link https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=7465679 (if you are not already a member of LinkedIn you will have to join).


We look forward to seeing more members on the group using it to talk with us and each other. The more the group is used the more it will become useful.

AD:UK Joint Response to Arts Council Wales consultation on Inspire

Ysbrydoli…ein strategaeth ar gyfer Creadigrwydd a’r Celfyddydau yng Nghymru / Inspire. our strategy for Creativity and the Arts in Wales

Arts Development: UK along with Arts Connect, The Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers across Wales (CCLOW) and the Welsh Local Government Association have submitted a joint response to Arts Council Wales consultation on their new strategy for ‘Creativity and the Arts in Wales’.

We welcome/support/agree with:

  • ACW Vision that the arts are central to the life of the nation and that people should “get” the arts
  • goal for Wales to be “the creative country”
  • strategy being summarised into 3 words: Make, Reach and Sustain
  • change of approach – the strategy is not specific to any one art form, it applies to all
  • it being intended as an enabling strategy
  • desire to nurture an arts ecology distinctive to Wales
  • recognition of our bi-lingual culture
  • blurring of the boundaries with the creative industries e.g. the mention of supporting young bands alongside supporting theatre companies
  • commitment to the new and the contemporary, the living arts
  • expectancy for risk taking

You can read our full response here.

The response was prepared by Strinda Davies, Head of Cultural Services RCT CBC. On behalf of:

  • ArtsConnect
  • ArtsDevUK
  • WLGA


The PLACE Report: Policy for the Lottery, the Arts & Community in England

The distribution of Lottery funding for the arts in England is a closed system, operating for the benefit of a small number of arts organisations but to the detriment of wider society and the economy, according to a new report by Peter Stark, Christopher Gordon, David Powell and Steve Trow who recently revealed England’s regional arts funding imbalance. PLACE draws a clear distinction between the purposes of tax-derived funding (Arts Council England’s grant-in-aid) and National Lottery revenue distributed by ACE (the Arts Lottery). It takes as read the critical importance of the Arts Council’s role in maintaining the nation’s core, high-quality cultural infrastructure through grant-in-aid, but questions fundamentally the Arts Council’s stewardship of the National Lottery funds, which are provided for different purposes and for far wider public benefit than its Treasury grant.

The report is available at: http://www.theplacereport.co.uk/downloads.php

AD:uk/NCVO National Seminar Programme on Cultural Commissioning

Cultural Commissioning Seminars - click for details

1st seminar: London (Camden Centre) on Friday 6th June 2014: Chaired by Robin Simpson (Voluntary Arts) (Restricted breakout choices only: only sessions 1 and 2 in the morning and afternoon are now available)

2nd seminar: Cast Doncaster on Tuesday 10th June 2014. Chaired by Jane Wilson (Chair of AD:uk) (The seminar is now full)

The public service landscape has changed. Services are increasingly delivered through commissioning and commissioners are looking for improved outcomes. Many are also looking for services which help local communities build resilience, as part of preventative strategies to enable resource management at a time of reducing budgets. 

Arts and cultural organisations equally face financial pressures as grant aid diminishes. Many are looking to develop alternative income sources through delivering public service contracts, and to use creative skills and cultural approaches to deliver public service outcomes.  

This series of two national seminars bring together arts and cultural organisations and public service commissioners to explore ways in which arts and culture can deliver effective public service outcomes. Whether you are from the arts and cultural sector, or are a commissioner, they will help you:

  • Understand how arts and cultural organisations can work creatively with individuals and communities to tackle social issues and challenges
  • Discover innovative artistic and cultural practice which engages people, and helps deliver better health, wellbeing and stronger communities
  • Develop networks to increase your effectiveness in cultural commissioning for better outcomes.

The seminars feature:

  • Key note speeches by leaders in the arts & cultural sector and in strategic commissioning
  • Practical examples of commissioning cultural programmes to deliver better outcomes in mental health & wellbeing, older people, places and communities
  • Peer to peer learning on cross-cutting issues, including: collaborative working; demonstrating impact; engaging users in service design; relationship between high artistic / cultural quality and public service delivery. 

Speakers confirmed include:

  • Vikki Haywood, Chair of the RSA
  • Carole Wood, Director of Public Health, Gateshead Council
  • Paul McGarry, Senior Strategy Manager, Public Health Manchester
  • Linden Rowley, Consultant
  • Sally Bagwell, NPC Research

Arts organisations, museums, libraries and archives that want to develop know-how and networks for engaging in commissioning will benefit from these seminars. So will commissioners working in health, public health, adult social care, children and families, community cohesion, regeneration and education who want better outcomes and better engagement with target communities.    

The national seminar programme is a joint initiative between the Cultural Commissioning Programme (CCP),Arts Development UK and the National Culture & Leisure Forum.  It is supported by The National Archives. CCP is an Arts Council England funded programme to help the arts and cultural sector engage in public sector commissioning and to support a greater awareness amongst public service commissioners of the potential for arts and culture to deliver their outcomes.  Sign up to stay informed at:  http://www.ncvo.org.uk/cultural-commissioning-programme-emails.

A detailed programme and booking form is available here: Cultural Commissioning Seminar programme and booking form

For more information, please contact artsdevuk@aol.com.

AD:uk London Regional Meeting

LogoWednesday 2 April from 2-5pm
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 50 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB
Arts Development UK’s London branch will be holding its next meeting on Wednesday 2 April from 2-5pm. It will be held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s offices in Hoxton Square, not far from Old Street station. The programme includes:

  • 2pm for 2.15pm start
  • 2.15-2.30pm Update on Arts Dev UK (Gina Gillam/Chris Gibbon, ADUK London region’s co-ordinators)
  • 2.30-3.15pm Jessica Harris, Cultural Commissioning Programme Manager, NCVO, talking about the cultural commissioning programme
  • 3.15-3.45pm Break for tea and coffee
  • 3.45-4.30pm John McMahon, Museums, Libraries and Heritage Adviser, A New Direction, talking about AND’s work as London’s bridge organisation
  • 4.30-4.45pm Arts Dev UK wrap-up

We would be delighted if you could join us and please let us know if you wish to attend (it’s free for members). For further information please contact: Chris Gibbon, Senior Consultant with BOP at 020 7780 7298/07719 932 631 or email: chris@bop.co.uk