UNBOXED 2022 offers innovation - and employment

21 Oct 2021

Once derided as the Festival of Brexit, the eight-month mega event will "prove the naysayers wrong".

Essex to launch local arts recovery fund

19 Oct 2021

Essex County Council will launch a local Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund next month.

The fund is geared towards recovery and development post-pandemic, benefitting organisations that support artistic and cultural work.

Graham Butland, the council’s cabinet minister for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture, has not revealed the size of the fund but said it is “significant”.

He confirmed a key focus will be supporting small grassroots organisations.

“The arts is something the county council left the stage a few years ago and we want to back in there.”

London to repurpose Royal Docks as cultural quarter

19 Oct 2021

London’s Royal Docks is set to become ‘London’s cultural engine’ under plans to repurpose the space as a cultural quarter.

Work has begun on a range of creative spaces, including transforming the Tate & Lyle Sugar warehouses into a community workspace. Planning permission has also been granted for a rotating theatre to open in 2023.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz believe the area can transform into a place where “new ideas are formed and cultural participation is open to all”.

Khan said the quarter has the potential to deliver 35,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes and more than £5bn of inward investment within the next 20 years.

“It is the latest example of London roaring back to life with culture leading the way in our city’s economic recovery.” 

Strategy will make Peterborough a ‘cultural hotspot’

05 Oct 2021

The city must address a “cultural deficit” among its youth, consultation finds, as it eyes a bid for UK City of Culture 2029.

Canning Dock redevelopment to investigate historic slave trade

29 Sep 2021

National Museums Liverpool (NML) has announced the winners of a competition to redevelop Liverpool’s Canning Dock.

Architects Asif Khan, Mariam Kamara and Sir David Adjaye will work alongside artist Theaster Gates to transform the area between the Royal Albert Dock and Mann Island.

Competition judges were unanimous in picking the winning team, whose plans start with redeveloping spaces in the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building “to explore and investigate the transatlantic slave trade and legacies”.

Gates hopes the redevelopment will “give emotional heft to the truth of slavery in the UK”.

“Canning Dock represents one of the most important racialised sites in the UK and it gives me tremendous honour to work with this team to realise the complexity of the site.”

Council criticised over mixed messages on theatre sale

29 Sep 2021

A £191,000 Culture Recovery Fund grant was meant to help the theatre reopen and reach new audiences. Now, locals can't get a clear answer on whether it will be sold.

Abandoned church to become arts and music venue

22 Sep 2021

Ipswich Council has granted planning permission for St Clement's Church to be repurposed into an arts centre and music venue.

Planning officers said the scheme would "add significantly to the vitality and viability of the town centre".

Councillor Carole Jones added: "Everybody would wish to see this beautiful building brought back into some use for the benefit of the community."

Work is expected to begin on the Grade-II listed building, which has been vacant for more than 40 years, before the end of the year.

Planning permission was first granted in 2016 but did not move forward due to insufficient funds.

Ipswich Churches Trust confirmed funding for the first phase of work has been secured and hopes the announcement will lead to further donations.

What’s in a name?

Creative Lives Everyday Creativity Montage
22 Sep 2021

Does your organisation’s name need too much explanation? Pauline Tambling reflects on the process of changing an established brand name and offers insight for arts organisations embarking on a similar journey.

How Government can avoid missing the mark on levelling up

14 Sep 2021

If policymakers get it right for the cultural sector, there may be significant economic and social dividends to be won, argues Eliza Easton.

Falkirk Council to vote on arts centre location

13 Sep 2021

Falkirk Council is set to vote on a site for its new arts centre and council headquarters.

The £45m arts centre, which has been given the go-ahead despite rising costs, will include a theatre, library and studio spaces alongside the council offices.

But the council is yet to agree on where it will be built. Council officers and the SNP want the arts centre and offices to be built together, whereas Labour have suggested splitting the projects across two sites.

Falkirk Business Improvement District Manager Elaine Grant says it is "critical" both the headquarters and arts centre are in built in the heart of the town.

"It will have a significant impact not just on local business but [also] through further investment."

The council will reconvene on September 24 to discuss further.

London invests £1.3m into creative jobs

10 Sep 2021

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £1.3m for the city's Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZs) as part of a plan to double the size of the scheme.

Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham's zones will share £1.1m - £450,000 from the CEZs scheme and £650,000 from the city's final European Social Fund grant. The councils will contribute the remaining £200,000.

Each will pursue a project to increase training, infrastructure and mentoring opportunities that support creative careers.

'Win Creative Croydon' will provide training for music industry roles.

In Lambeth, 'Brixton Creative Works' will provide specialist training to business owners wanting to support early career creatives, as well as career fairs and mentoring.

And 'Inspire Lewisham' will work with partners at Lewisham College, Goldsmiths University and The Albany to teach music and coding to creatives from underrepresented backgrounds.

Barbican seeks design team for building revamp 

08 Sep 2021

The Barbican Centre and City of London are searching for a design team to refurbish the city centre arts venue.

A competition offering between £50m and £150m to revamp the Grade-II listed building “to meet the needs of 21st century artists, audiences and communities” has been launched.

Proposals must cover all aspects of the building, include plans to upgrade venues, repurpose unused spaces, and improve the building’s environmental performance with an eye to carbon neutrality by 2027.

Teams featuring architects, engineers and sustainability and heritage consultants encouraged to apply before the October 21 deadline.

Five finalists will be shortlisted, with a design team expected to be appointed in February.

126,000 events industry jobs lost to Covid-19

08 Sep 2021

93% of organisers have changed their business models in response to the pandemic but a full recovery isn't expected until 2023 at the earliest.

Birmingham to open first city centre music venue in a decade

31 Aug 2021

Birmingham is set to open its first music venue and club in the city centre for over a decade.

Forum Birmingham, featuring a 3,500 capacity main stage and 350 capacity "rave box", will open its doors on September 3.

The venue has previously been known as The Ballroom, the Hummingbird and the Carling Academy Birmingham.

It has offered 1,000 NHS and key workers free entry for events scheduled as part of its autumn/winter programme.

Global Venues’ Billy Chauhan, a manager of the venue, said Forum Birmingham “looks forward to welcoming major events and contributing to valuable regional and national music tourism”.

Advantaged areas won more Culture Recovery Fund money

02 Aug 2021

Places that have fewer National Portfolio Organisations and less buy-in from local authorities may struggle to access other funding streams, new research indicates.

City of Culture 2025 contest attracts explosion of interest

28 Jul 2021

Adding a seventh city to the longlist of bidders who will receive funding would allow more places to "complete their journey," an expert on the competition says.

£34.9bn needed for UK creative industries to 'bounce back' by 2025

22 Jul 2021

New modelling from Oxford Economics says the country's creative sectors can more than recover from the loss of 100,000 jobs with the right investment.

Cultural vaccination centres an opportunity to reach new audiences

photo of Sadiq Khan speaking to NHS workers
21 Jul 2021

Art galleries hosting pop-up sites hope to capitalise on increased footfall and reconnect with young locals.

What do we mean by a systemic conversation?

image of jigsaw pieces
20 Jul 2021

Building on Culture Reset, Richard Watts shares a range of new initiatives aimed at supporting the cultural sector to change and develop to meet the urgent demands for inclusion, improved governance and more dispersed models of leadership.

A new creative renaissance?

image of Justine Simons and London Mayor Sadiq Khan
29 Jun 2021

Despite an incredibly difficult time for arts and culture in London, Justine Simons says the return of visitors to our world-leading cultural attractions is one of many reasons to feel optimistic.


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