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D – Acronyms and Jargon


One of the most frustrating aspects of working in local government, is the language. Shorthand, jargon, acronyms, call it what you like, you will constantly find new expressions being used. Experienced officers still find it necessary to ask what some of these mean, so the best advice is ………ASK!

A few of the most common jargon expressions you may come across, in the Council or in arts officers’ meetings, are:

ACE Arts Council England
ACE: EM, NW, NE, Eastern, SE, London, Yorkshire, SW, WM Regional Offices of Arts Council England
ADO Arts Development Officer
Big Lottery Fund New Opportunities and Community Funds (now merged together)
BME Black Minority Ethnic
CD Cultural Diversity
Community Strategy Overarching document that defines long-term aims for the authority, and reflecting lo cal priorities. The arts will be able to contribute to most of the aims.
Bridge organisations Replacing Creative Partnerships, Bridge organisations are an Arts Council initiative to provide a ‘bridge’ between schools and creative practitioners
CPA Comprehensive Performance Assessment (see chapter 2 above)
Creative Industries or CIs The Department for Culture, Media and Sport defines the creative industries as ‘those industries that have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’.  There are 13 sub-sectors which make up the CI sector, listed on the DCMS website –
CPD Continued Professional Development or long-term training programme, designed for the individual officer
DCMS Department of Culture, Media and Sport
Decibel ACE cultural diversity initiative
GfA/GforA Grants for the Arts, the main Arts Lottery fund for individual projects
LAA Local Area Agreements – draw together plans for local services and agrees a combination of central government and local area targets, to assist the targeting of government funds towards local needs. This will include Community Strategies.
LEA Local Education Authority (although this may now be obsolete)
LDO Literature Development Officer
LSP Local Strategic Partnership – a combination of different agencies, including public and voluntary sector working together to define local targets, and to develop the LAA.
nalgao National Association of Local Government Arts Officers
PR Public Relations
RCC’s Regional Cultural Consortiums
RDA Regional Development Agency – each region of the UK will have one. See C.2.1 for the full list. RDAs are set up by Government to promote sustainable economic development in England. They are business led. Their main tasks are to help the English regions improve their relative economic performance and reduce social and economic disparities within and between regions
RES Regional Economic Strategy – main driver of RDAs.
RFO Regularly Funded Organisation – revenue clients of the Arts Council
SLA Service Level Agreement – contract for services, often used to define what outputs are delivered in return for grant aid, and over what timescale.
SSP Sub Strategic Partnerships bring together businesses, public sector, voluntary and community groups – SSPs make sure the Regional Economic Strategy is delivered in local communities throughout the region.
Xtrax Showcase for emerging culturally diverse artists, through decibel