Culture gets £100m in final Levelling Up funding round

Computer-generated image of future theatre and cultural hub in Andover
21 Nov 2023

Government has distributed £4.8bn across three funding rounds, with an estimated £1.1bn designated to cultural projects.

The future of cultural devolution

Graphic of the UK
24 May 2023

The UK is among the most centralised and unequal countries, which has a profound impact on where culture and creativity has flourished. Trevor MacFarlane explores whether devolution could be an opportunity to recalibrate the creative ecosystem.

Springing back into action: new insights

Graphic showing a person speaking into a mic, a meter, tickets, emojis, mobile phone
26 Apr 2023

Most people in the sector don’t need to be analysts but they do need the insight to make changes that speak to audiences. Here, Anne Torregiani shares how this thinking has shaped The Audience Agency’s next-generation suite of audience insight tools. 

Weathering the cost-of-living storm across the UK

Storm clouds and lightning
08 Dec 2022

Research rings warning bells about the potential effects of the cost-of-living clouds rolling in across all four nations. Anne Torreggiani asks how we can brace for impact and support communities? 

Bridging the divide for children in the North

Childwall Academy
17 Nov 2022

At the heart of the cost-of-living and Covid storm, children and young people have fewer opportunities to engage in arts and culture and barriers to access are growing. Hannah Baldwin thinks this is a crisis in the making.

Education in need of a radical rethink 

First Encounters with Shakespeare production photograph
15 Sep 2022

Industry complains of a chronic skills shortage in areas such as communication and creativity. Yet our education system places little value on subjects that hone those skills, says Jacqui O'Hanlon.

‘Make it SO’

17 May 2022

In the last in our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Claire Whitaker says Southampton has been connecting the UK with people across the globe for thousands of years.

‘We rise together’

Children celebrate Wrexham's City of Culture 2025 bid
04 May 2022

In the third of our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Ian Bancroft reveals Wrexham as “one of the last punk places in the UK”.

‘Our Time, Our Place’

Young people from Bradford send off for the district's official UK City of Culture 2025 bid
19 Apr 2022

In the second in our series profiling the shortlisted candidates for City of Culture 2025, Shanaz Gulzar shares how Bradford's young people shaped a bid that awakened a sleeping giant of a city.

‘The past we inherit, the future we build’

Durham miners' gala
06 Apr 2022

In the first in a series profiling the shortlisted candidates for UK City of Culture 2025, Alison Clark introduces the county whose bid is inspired by the Durham Miners Association.

What does your pricing say about you?

09 Mar 2022

Pricing is an overlooked form of communication. As soon as a price is placed on something, it sends out a message about the product, says David Reece

The real Big Bang

Poet Scarlett Ward leads a poetry workshop in conjunction with About Us and UNBOXED
22 Feb 2022

About Us* is a dazzling free show combining projection mapping, animation, music and poetry. At its heart, says Maggie Aderin-Pocock, is a simple message: we are all connected. 

Welcome to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

people looking at an art installation
21 Oct 2021

What happens when creative minds from different sectors and disciplines come together to imagine and design bold, large-scale events to reach millions of people worldwide? Martin Green reveals what’s in store for 2022.

Coalition forms to develop cultural devolution proposals

29 Nov 2023

More than 20 sector organisations join forces to consider the impact of increased local level decision making on arts and culture policy and develop proposals for how it could best work.

Arts therapy project gets AHRC backing

A woman and man dancing as part of the Arts for the Blues programme
20 Nov 2023

Psychological therapists will be able to access training to deliver arts therapy in their communities.

Further closures of unsuccessful NPO applicants

Artlink West Yorkshire's base in Leeds
15 Nov 2023

Three more organisations announce their closure after failing to secure core funding from Arts Council England, while a fourth will “radically restructure and downsize”. 

Frazer extends government’s Creative Growth programme

14 Nov 2023

Six areas across England are to be awarded a share of £10.9m to scale up hundreds of creative industry businesses.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer announced the expansion of the government’s Creative Growth programme during the WeCreate conference at Manchester’s Aviva Studios yesterday (14 November).

The expansion doubles the areas covered by the programme. Creative businesses in Nottinghamshire, Hull and East Yorkshire, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Devon and Hertfordshire will now be eligible to access private investment and scale-up advice.

The amount of funding each area will receive is not set and depends on the individual area’s business needs and the number of businesses that apply for grants and support. 

Since launching in 2022, the Creative Growth programme has delivered £28.4m. It is estimated the programme’s expansion will take the total number of creative organisations supported by the scheme to 1,800.

The programme was developed to support government ambitions to grow the creative industries by £50bn by 2030.

Speaking in Manchester yesterday, Frazer said: "We’re already making progress towards the ambitious goals set out in our sector vision, unveiling millions in new funding to drive growth in our grassroots and scale ups and banging the drum for creative careers."

Affordable creative coworking venue opens in London

07 Nov 2023

Arts charity Artists Studio Company (ASC) has opened a creative venue in London providing affordable workspaces to creatives.

The Handbag Factory in Vauxhall opened in October with an official launch event planned on 23 November.

ASC says it opened the space in response to the cost-of-living crisis and changing creative working practices.

It will welcome creative practitioners working in fields such as the visual arts, fashion, print, design, photography, film, writing and illustration.

The venue features dedicated and coworking desks, meeting rooms and two hire galleries substantially below market rates.

It is also home to the ASC Gallery, a free public art gallery focused on supporting new talented artists and makers.

ASC CEO Peter Flack said the cost of an arts education and the cost of living in London is affecting the capital's global cultural status.

“London is literally being culturally hollowed out. For art and culture to thrive, it has to include people from all walks of life. If art excludes people and becomes the voice of only the privileged few, it will simply be irrelevant,” he added.

“ASC aims to address this problem brick by brick. The Handbag Factory will not solve the problem, but it will help.’’

£2.3m arts centre opens in Northern Ireland

07 Nov 2023

A £2.3m arts and culture centre has opened in Derry/Londonderry as part of an initiative funding projects in five urban areas of Northern Ireland (NI).

Funding for the New Gate Arts & Culture Centre comes from the Urban Villages Initiative, which is overseen by NI’s Executive Office.

The scheme offers funding for projects that develop thriving places where there has been a history of deprivation and community tension.

The new arts centre, located in the Fountain area of Derry/Londonderry, features a performance space, art and tuition rooms and a dance studio.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council, which managed the development, said the centre will “assist in fostering positive community identities, building community capacity and improving the local physical environment”.

Joan O’Hara, Director of the Executive Office’s Urban Villages programme, added: “This is a fantastic regeneration project for the Fountain area of the city and across the region to provide a shared cultural space right in the heart of the local community”.

“The centre will invigorate the area and encourage the community to come together to celebrate their culture and backgrounds in a space that will use the arts to create new experiences and friendships.”

Performing arts among fastest growing sectors of economy

A woman performing on stage holding a skull
28 Sep 2023

Government figures reveal the economic value of music, performing and visual arts is outperforming the rest of the economy, but sector leaders warn individual venues continue to struggle.


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