The Arts Council’s new 10-year strategy sets out what the funding body describes as a “route-map” for the next decade.
By 2030, ACE said it wants to see a “truly creative nation in which every one of us can play a part”. In order to achieve this, ACE said it would need to “realise fully our role as this country’s national development agency for creativity and culture”.
“This strategy is based on the need to recognise and celebrate the creative lives of everyone in this country, and its success will depend on our ability to understand and champion a wider range of culture than we have before, including in the amateur, voluntary and commercial sectors,” it said.
It will work to address a number of challenges facing the sector and emphasises several areas of particular interest throughout its 70-page document.
The strategy is based around three ‘outcomes’ that it hopes to achieve, and four ‘investment principles’ that organisations should follow to better deliver the outcomes.
Creative people: Everyone can develop and express creativity throughout their life.
Cultural communities: Villages, towns and cities thrive through a collaborative approach to culture.
A creative and cultural country: England’s cultural sector is innovative, collaborative and international.
Ambition and quality: Cultural organisations are ambitious and committed to improving the quality of their work.
Dynamism: Cultural organisations are dynamic and able to respond to the challenges of the next decade.
Environmental responsibility: Cultural organisations lead the way in their approach to environmental responsibility.
Inclusivity and relevance: England’s diversity is fully reflected in the organisations and individuals that we support and in the culture they produce.
The Arts Council published a draft strategy last summer as part of a year-long consultation into its new framework. The outcomes are unchanged from the draft document, and while the content of the investment principles is the same, environmental responsibility and dynamism have now been given their own categories where they were previously listed as one.
ACE acknowledged that in order to deliver its strategy, it must change, and promised to be a more flexible investor, with regular reviews of its processes. It must also “answer the following questions before making investments”. These are:
1. How well does this proposal help to achieve our three outcomes?
2. How well does it address the priorities in our current delivery plan?
3. To what extent is the applicant able to demonstrate commitment to our four investment principles?
4. How well does this proposal contribute to achieving a good balance of activity across the country and across disciplines (including art forms, museums and libraries)?
5. Would the activity or service happen without our investment?
6. Will our funding leverage additional investment that might otherwise be lost?
7. What is the best type and duration of investment (revenue or capital funding, grant, loan or stake) for the proposal?
The strategy replaces a previous framework, which ran from 2010 to 2020. This included five long-term goals, around which ACE’s vision for the decade was drawn.
Goal 1: Talent and artistic excellence are thriving and celebrated.
Goal 2: More people experience and are inspired by the arts.
Goal 3: The arts are sustainable, resilient and innovative.
Goal 4: The arts leadership and workforce are diverse and highly skilled.
Goal 5: Every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.