Strengthening the resilience of the cultural sector is the aim of a new 15-month Arts Council England programme. 

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Francisco Osorio via (CC BY 2.0)

A business support programme aimed at strengthening the resilience and investment readiness of arts organisations, museums and libraries in England will be launched in 2017.

The Prosper programme will provide free one-to-one business advice, workshops, masterclasses, webinars and establish an online business support resource.

It will be delivered by Creative United in partnership with the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) and the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS at Coventry University), following an Arts Council England (ACE) award of £400,000.

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United, described the aim of Prosper as supporting organisations to “grow their capacities for attracting new business, investment and audiences”.

The 15-month programme is being co-funded by Coventry University and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. They will research the needs and provision of business support among cultural organisations, evaluate the Prosper programme and share the outcomes and lessons learned.

Jane Tarr, Director Organisational Resilience and Environmental Sustainability at ACE, said: “As well as supporting organisations in the cultural sector to become stronger businesses, we’re also interested to learn more about what the sector needs and how we can connect people to some of the great support that is already available.”

The Prosper advice programme will be open to around 70 organisations across England, with a timetable for applications and regional launch events to be announced in the new year.

Liz Hill