The arts have received an unexpected fillip in the Chancellor?s budget statement with the allocation of £12m to ?promote excellence in management and leadership within the arts?. The cash, which will be spread over two years, has been allocated to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is likely to be dedicated to improving ?training for the next generation of leaders?.
DCMS is now consulting with Arts Council England (ACE) and the Learning and Skills Council to determine how the money will be spent. Key areas that are expected to be targeted include the development of commercial and business leadership skills among talented high-flyers in cultural organisations, encouraging the skills of ethnic minority arts leaders, and creating new opportunities for business-arts collaboration. The funds, which can only be spent in England, will be released through 2006 and 2007. Responding to the Budget announcement, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said, ?Our artists and arts institutions have an international reputation for excellence. But we need to make sure the management and leadership of these companies matches up to the art.?
The move was seen as being a response to the contribution the arts and the creative industries make to the UK economy. In his Budget speech, Gordon Brown referred to the 8% of national income that the creative industries provide. He also announced a review into the ways that the arts and other creative businesses can further contribute to the economy. George Cox, Chair of the Design Council, has been asked to look at the ways in which small businesses can draw on the UK?s creative industries to ?increase the contribution of creativity to productivity growth?.
A spokesperson for ACE said that ?This is good news for two reasons. The money is for an important initiative; it will be valuable to develop the new generation of arts leaders. Almost more important though, is that this commitment of hard cash, of new money, shows the Treasury has recognised the importance of the arts and arts development to the wider economy, and that?s got to be good.?. One template ACE is likely to examine, is that employed by the Clore Duffield Foundation in its Leadership Programme. The first fellows on the Programme are currently completing their bursary years and more places have been made available on the scheme for 2005/06. Chris Smith, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme and former Culture Secretary, said, ?During the first year of the Clore Leadership Programme, two things have become very clear: there is a real need for leadership training and development in the cultural sector; and the potential talent is certainly there. Cultural and creative organisations need to be well run and well led; that way, the quality of the artistic activity can shine through and have the greatest impact.?