South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Arts Council England publishes draft strategy for a final consultation

Arts Council England (ACE) has published its draft strategy covering the decade to 2030 for a final three-month consultation before it is finalised in the autumn. The strategy seeks to address both abiding issues, such as diversity, representation and geographical spread of cultural activity, and the likelihood of rapid societal change ‘economically, technologically, socially and environmentally’.

Simon Mellor, Deputy CE for Arts & Culture said “We want to champion, develop and invest to ensure that everyone everywhere can nurture their own creativity and access the highest quality cultural experiences. This means that, in future we will place as much emphasis on our advocacy and development responsibilities as our role as a funding agency.”

ACE says that three issues will shape what it chooses to fund: ambition and quality; inclusivity and relevance; dynamism and environmental sustainability. Shifts in emphasis for funded museums and for ACE itself will include:

  • Encouraging more use of collections, knowledge, skills and resources on activities which allow people to develop their creative potential.
  • A collaborative approach between cultural organisations to reach as wide an audience as possible. Local libraries, museums, arts organisations and music education hubs may work more closely, especially in reaching young people.
  • Helping a wider group of cultural organisations to work internationally, and being encouraged to bring international work to the UK.
  • ACE will also place greater emphasis on facilitating the sector to partner with higher education and technology firms, and offer help to develop a ‘richer data culture’.
  • ACE will aim to support greater innovation and ‘explicitly demonstrate our appetite for risk and tolerance for failure’.
  • Application processes will become simpler.
  • As well as continuing to offer grants, ACE will develop loans and stakes as alternative ways to support culture.
The final round of online consultation runs to 23rd September. There are also workshops across the country until mid July. Click here for further information.