£12m ACE business innovation programme delayed

01 Mar 2022

An Arts Council England (ACE) business innovation programme has been delayed without a new start date.

The Reset and Innovation Programme, assigned £12m and originally planned for January, is part of the funder's three-year delivery plan for the Let's Create strategy.

The initiative will support organisations to apply ACE's investment principles and pursue innovations that build their long-term sustainability, including new partnerships and business models or company mergers.

An ACE spokesperson attributed the delay to "knock on" effects arising from its efforts to support the sector throughout the pandemic.

“Plans are still being finalised. We aim to share information in the coming months.”

ACE instructed to address funding imbalance

women looks at art in gallery
24 Feb 2022

The funder is to redirect funding away from London-based organisations as outlined in the latest addendum to its guidance for applicants.

£210m Cultural Heart plan 'commonplace and risky'

21 Feb 2022

A shopping precinct turned arts centre due for demolition should instead be a model for other town centres, a think tank argues.

Manchester Museum reopening delayed

21 Feb 2022

Manchester Museum's reopening has been delayed due to "the challenges of the pandemic".

Initially slated for the end of 2022, delays in the construction supply chain mean the institution now plans to reopen to the public in February 2023 following an "ambitious and complex" £15m transformation project.

The building will be 25% larger once construction completes, and include four new galleries: a South Asia gallery, the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, a "Belonging Gallery" and an exhibition hall hosting Egyptian mummies.

The South Asia gallery will be the first of its kind in the UK, created in partnership with the British Museum.

"Our team and partners have never lost faith in our vision for a reimagined Manchester Museum that is more caring, inclusive and imaginative," Director Esme Ward said.

Inverness opens £6m artists' residence

15 Feb 2022

A £6m arts facility in Inverness has opened to its first residents.

Sited in a former Victorian school, construction on The Inverness Creative Academy took four years.

Project developers say the space features affordable accommodation for up to 44 artists and 54 workspaces for creative businesses, social enterprises and charities.

A public space at the venue is expected to be completed later this month.

The project was managed by Wasps, a national provider of creative workspaces across Scotland.

Culture offers 'clear opportunities' to reinvent high streets

10 Feb 2022

ACE says there is "more to be done on both sides" to bolster culture's role in town centres.

Museum of London prepares for relocation

10 Feb 2022

The Museum of London’s main site is closing at the end of year as it prepares for relocation.

The museum is moving to West Smithfield’s General Market, within the city’s Culture Mile, where it will occupy market buildings that have been empty for more than 30 years.

Its reopening in 2025 will be marked with a festival and a rebrand to The London Museum.

The Museum of London Docklands will remain open throughout but will undergo a name change to become The London Museum Docklands next January.

Museum of London Director Sharon Ament said the venue will become “more than a museum”.

“It will be a new civic space for millions of visitors to enjoy, 24 hours a day… It will bring a new economy and foster a new relationship between people and the place in which they live, work or are visiting.”

£12m expansion at Bristol-based studios

07 Feb 2022

Work is under way on a £12m expansion of Bristol TV and film studios The Bottle Yard.

Three new stages will be added to the existing eight studios in works due to be completed in summer.

A further £1.6m, received from Bristol City Council, will ensure The Bottle Yard’s current facilities are sufficient to meet its 10-year business plan.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees says the investment will create jobs, skills and training opportunities.

“It will be a major boost to our wider regeneration plans for South Bristol, bringing growth and opportunity to the area”.

Levelling Up White Paper targets cultural engagement outside London

02 Feb 2022

Arts Council England will spend 100% of its budget uplift in the regions as Government commits to "significantly increasing" cultural spending outside the capital.

Legal failings over concert hall upgrade cost £67.5m

27 Jan 2022

Croydon Council has been forced to foot the bill for its bungled venture after staff ignored astonishing budget overruns.

UK's oldest cinema reopens with new management

20 Jan 2022

The UK's oldest working cinema has reopened under new management.

The Electric in Birmingham, closed for nearly two years due to Covid-19, has been taken over by Kevin Markwick, operator of the Picture House Cinema in Uckfield, East Sussex.

"Can’t pretend there isn’t much to do, but I’m excited and want to make The Electric the go to place in Birmingham for film lovers," he tweeted.

The Electric showed its first film in 1909.

It became an adult movie theatre in the 70s before showing mainstream and art house films.

Bid to stop Dudley Hippodrome demolition fails

12 Jan 2022

A bid for an injunction to prevent Dudley Hippodrome's demolition has failed.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove decided against intervening in Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council's £25m plan to redevelop it into a campus for health education.

The Theatres Trust says it is appealing to Historic England to save the 1930s variety theatre, which once hosted the likes of Bing Croshy and Laurel Hardy.

"This is a wasted opportunity to provide the type of live performance space that Dudley is lacking, which could be a catalyst for growth in the town."

But Councillor Simon Phipps said demolishing the mothballed venue was the next step towards creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

"This has been a long, drawn-out process but we owe it to the people of Dudley and students of the future to get this done."

Exclusive: £429m Levelling Up funding goes to culture

12 Jan 2022

One quarter of grants are intended for cultural projects, new data finds, as MPs launch an inquiry into cultural placemaking.

£95m British Library project gets go-ahead

10 Jan 2022

The British Library has received the green light for a £95m redevelopment project of its Boston Spa site in West Yorkshire. 

The refurbishment will create 220km extra shelf space in a new storage facility equipped with a public viewing gallery.

An £8.5m Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme grant to install 730 solar panels, ground source heat pump system and improve insulation has also been secured.

British Library Chief Operating Officer Phil Spence is delighted Leeds City Council approved plans for the redevelopment.

"It marks a major step forward towards transforming our presence in the north of England and creating a sustainable British Library for everyone."

Tate Liverpool tenders for £25m 'reimagining' project

06 Jan 2022

Tate Liverpool is seeking architects to lead a £25m renovation project.

A tender notice says the three-and-a-half year redevelopment of the Albert Docks site will "reimagine the gallery spaces to meet the scale and ambition of today's most exciting artists".

The Tate wants its gallery to "better connect with the city and its communities, creating an environment that is flexible and inviting and able to host people, art and ideas in equal part".

£10m has already been contributed via the Government's Levelling Up Fund for the works, expected to complete in December 2025.


Preston seeks £585k for gallery upgrade

05 Jan 2022

£585,000 is being sought to upgrade The Harris in Preston.

Preston City Council plans to ask Arts Council England to part fund Harris Your Place, its £10m refurbishment programme. £4.5m has already been recieved from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The museum, art gallery and library needs new lighting, signage, heating and ventilation, the council says.

Works would allow the building to host larger exhibitions and loans from major institutions.


Arts park and centre planned for Falkirk

21 Dec 2021

Falkirk is set to receive a “regionally significant” arts centre as part of investment zone funding.

The £80m Falkirk Growth Deal, delivered by the UK and Scottish governments, Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals, will develop eleven projects across Falkirk and Grangemouth.

£3m is earmarked for a National Outdoor Art Park.

The development is expected to create up to 2,000 jobs and £1bn worth of future investment.

"The deal will help regenerate town centres, create new cultural attractions and reskill the workforce," Scotland’s Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said.

Heritage key to historic town growth, report finds

15 Dec 2021

Heritage-led regeneration is key for growth in Britain’s historic town centres, according to planning consultants Lichfields.

The company's Historic Opportunities report says heritage assests must be repurposed in “ambitious and creative” ways, citing environmental, economic and social benefits.

Analysis of Towns Fund, Future High Streets Fund and Levelling Up Fund applications revealed heritage regeneration to be one of six funding themes. 90% of Towns Fund bids intend to use at least part of their grant for heritage-led regeneration.

The report’s lead author James Fryatt says future projects should focus on reusing assets, with the average vacancy rate of historic high streets and towns at about 14%.

“This will see historic buildings increasingly adapted to reflect changes in retail and growing demand for leisure activities and creative and flexible workspaces."

Lichfield Heritage Director Nick Bridgland added: “Our report points to a successful future for those historic towns that take advantage of the available funding and adopt a fresh approach to heritage-led regeneration work."

Essex launches £1m arts and culture fund

13 Dec 2021

Artists and arts organisations in Essex will soon be able to apply for up to £30,000 from a £1m fund.

Essex County Council will open the fund for applications from January 4, announcing grantees at the end of March.

Grants of at least £2,500 are available to individuals, community groups, charities and public and private organisations.

The council says Essex's creative sector was the third largest in the UK pre-pandemic, contributing an estimated £2.6bn.

"We believe that a thriving creative sector is part of a strong economy and one which will rejuvenate our high streets. It is my hope that the Arts and Cultural Fund will support the diverse and vibrant communities we have throughout the county," Councillor Graham Butland said.

£38.3m for ACE’s Creative People and Places

group of people stand in front of a murial
07 Dec 2021

Eleven new projects join the programme, all located in areas rated as ‘high need’ for cultural investment.


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