Following the completion of the Venues Review, jointly commissioned by the County and City Management Association (CCMA) and the Arts Council, the Arts Council is publishing its new Arts Centre Policy and Strategy 2019 to inform the development of guidelines for applications for funding for 2020.
While many of the recommendations of the review are subject to discussion and implementation processes between the CCMA and the Arts Council over the short, medium and long term, the Arts Council has acted on general recommendations which involve investing in the infrastructure of arts centres as a means of serving both artists and audiences better, in line with local authority and Arts Council strategic objectives, as expressed in Framework for Collaboration.
The Arts Council’s Arts Centre Policy and Strategy 2019
In the short-term, as a means of meeting its own obligations expressed in its strategy Making Great Art Work, the Arts Council is publishing its Arts Centre Policy and Strategy 2019 which will be used to define applications for funding in 2020. This Policy and Strategy stands separate from any future joint strategy with the CCMA.
The Policy and Strategy draws on some of the recommendations of the Review, which the Arts Council can implement within its own funding programmes.
The Review has further informed our shared ambition with local government to secure resources to enable the development of an infrastructure of well-resourced, professionally-managed arts centres to produce and make work which connects directly with their communities.
Key elements of the Policy and Strategy are dependent on substantial additional funding to the Arts Council from central government in the 2019 budget. These key elements involve additional investment by the Arts Council directly in the development of regional production and support to artists.
Joint Policies and Strategies arising from the Review
The CCMA and the Arts Council have established a joint working group which will oversee a plan for the implementation of particular recommendations of the Review. This work will continue through 2019 and into 2020 and forms part of the work-plan arising out of Framework for Collaboration (the joint strategy published in 2016)
Historical disparities in funding
There are differences in funding structures across the infrastructure which have developed over many years as the infrastructure has been built. These disparities are referred to in the Review and will be dealt with in a process of dialogue with individual local authorities over a period of up to 3 years.
The stability of the built infrastructure is of fundamental importance to the CCMA as the representative body for management in local government. It is equally fundamental to Arts Council policy especially in the context of its evolving spatial and demographic policy, as expressed in the Arts Centre Policy and Strategy 2019 and in Making Great Art Work.