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.

New music board to boost West Midlands industry

A band performing on stage at a music venue
28 Jun 2021

The West Midlands Music Board will prioritise the economic growth and recovery, inclusion, representation and advocacy of its local music scene.

Tourism Recovery Plan gives hollow nod to culture

main entrance of the British Museum
21 Jun 2021

A new national tourism plan says cultural attractions are the top drawcard for international visitors, but falls short of offering specific help for the sector’s post-Covid recovery.

New Deal for the arts

Photo of Navajo Mural by Gerald Nailor
16 Jun 2021

The more you look at the cultural aftermath of this year of lockdowns, the clearer it becomes that current thinking around arts funding is a missed opportunity, Anthony Sargent writes.

Growing freelance creative workforces may pose a risk to the regions

09 Jun 2021

Official employment statistics show the cultural sector remains in crisis, with declining job opportunities and regional imbalances.

Bradford cultural strategy to 'harness the power of our diversity'

01 Jun 2021

The city aims to add 3,000 jobs to its cultural sector by 2031 - half of them from underrepresented groups - as its current offer lacks "the power to engage all our diverse communities".  

'Very good news': Huge optimism as partial venue reopening confirmed

Sadiq Khan at London's Pride Festival, 2016
12 May 2021

London launches a massive domestic tourism campaign as England progresses to the next stage of the reopening roadmap.


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