South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

South west organisations chosen for Accelerator Programme to advance and share environmental best practice

Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle have announced the second cohort for their Accelerator Programme, a strand of work launched in 2018 to foster enterprise, innovation, future thinking and creative perspectives on climate and the environment. In the south west, Brunel's SS Great Britain and Knowle West Media Centre have been included in this cohort.

The Accelerator Programme provides the space, resources, time and expertise to support organisations in developing innovative approaches to their environmental practice. The insights and learning from the programme will be circulated with the wider cultural sector, forming a critical part of a roadmap for a shared vision for change.

This is the second of two cohorts – made up of ten projects each – to receive expert mentoring from Julie’s Bicycle as well as other industry leaders and a residential training programme adapted from Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Climate Leadership course.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain will be carrying out an optimisation exercise on their dry dock to reduce their carbon footprint by improving the energy efficiency of climate control across the whole site. Knowle West Media Centre will aim to bring environmental issues to the forefront of their community, through using the local ‘make do and mend’ culture, reigniting an existing passion for locally available resources and skills to benefit the community.

Organisations and consortia elsewhere in the UK include: FanSHEN, Abandon Normal Devices and Art Catalyst; Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance; The Courtyard Trust and Watts Gallery: Artists’ Village; Horniman Museum and Gardens; D6 Culture, And Other Stories and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Live Art Development Agency and Gasworks; The Barbican, Artillery and London Borough of Waltham Forest; and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Andrew Ellerby, Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Combined Arts, Arts Council England, said: “The Arts Council is committed to supporting the cultural sector’s increasing ambition when it comes to addressing climate change, and through our work with Julie’s Bicycle we want to nurture their creative and innovative approaches to sustainability practice. It’s been fantastic to see the first Accelerator cohort’s projects grow and develop over the past 18 months; the proposals set out by the second cohort are equally exciting and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve.”

Lucy Latham, Arts Council England and Policy Programmes Lead, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “We are delighted to welcome these new and exciting projects into the Accelerator community. Accelerator is proving the point that incubating cultural talent and environmental ambition leads to new intelligence and innovative practice, contributing to a sustainable and future-proof sector”