Arts Council England
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Arts Council England invests £7.1 million into leadership development

Arts Council England last week announced an investment of £7,140,989 National Lottery funding into leadership development. Eighteen projects have received funding through the Transforming Leadership Fund, to deliver a range of leadership development opportunities for leaders from museums, libraries and arts organisations at all stages of their careers – including freelancers.

The Transforming Leadership Fund was launched to address specific issues around diversity across leadership, opportunities for emerging and early career leaders, and the development of executive skills at senior levels. All the successful projects will carefully consider the diversity of their participants, with a number specifically addressing the underrepresentation of leaders from certain groups.

Many programmes will deliver activity across the country, with 70% of all participants based outside the capital; others focus on developing leadership in specific places, recognising that appropriately skilled arts and cultural leaders can be instrumental in affecting economic and social change in the places they live and work.

Successful applications include:

  • LeaD by Access All Areas, Disability Arts Online and Manchester Metropolitan University will run a career development program for learning disabled practitioners – one of three projects supporting D/deaf and disabled leaders, the others will be led by Graeae Theatre Company and Shape Arts.
  • Change the Record by Brighter Sound will develop female leaders and enable cross-sector learning amongst organisations, sole traders and independent producers who want to reshape the future music industry.
  • Clore Leadership’s New Horizons programme will explore the needs of cultural leaders at all stages of their careers, prioritising early career practitioners, entrepreneurs and sole traders, as well progression routes for diverse mid-career professionals and executive leaders.
  • Leading Libraries by Libraries Connected will support 15 emerging leaders from across 15 library services to deliver long term change, focusing on female and minority ethnic library staff.
  • Coventry City Culture Trust will support a diverse cohort of established, independent and emerging leaders as part of the legacy for UK City of Culture, who will co-create a management training programme to help nurture a new generation of cultural entrepreneurs who represent and reflect the city.
  • The Jerwood Transforming Leadership Programme will identify, develop and promote emerging leaders from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
  • The UK Creative Community Fellows Programme led by Derby Museums will help build an adaptable cross-sector network of collaborative leaders working at the intersection of arts, culture and community development.

Mags Patten, Executive lead for Workforce Development, Arts Council England, said: “Our evidence tells us we have a generation of cultural leaders with great ambition, but also great pressures bearing down on them.  This fund is an investment in those leaders – offering them development opportunities that will give them time and space to think.

“By supporting a diverse range of emerging and established leaders we think we are more likely to achieve the vision laid out in our proposed ten-year strategy, of a country where everyone’s creativity is valued and high quality cultural experiences are available to each of us.”

Arts Council England is commissioning an external evaluation of the programme – the learnings from which will be fed back to the wider sector – to assess the effectiveness of different approaches to leadership development and the impact they have on the career progression of participants, and to identify lessons for how best the Arts Council can support leadership development in the future.

Notes to editors

Find out more about the Transforming Leadership Fund here

Successful applicants are listed below – descriptions for each of the projects can be downloaded here:

ACE Area Applicant name Amount Awarded
London* Access All Areas £283,512
North Brathay Trust £426,670
North Brighter Sound £450,000
London* The Clore Leadership Programme           £1,000,000
Midlands Coventry City of Culture £450,000
South West           Create Gloucestershire £180,000
Midlands Derby Museums £468,000
London East London Dance £260,000
London* Graeae Theatre Company £300,000
London* Jerwood Arts £844,955
London* Libraries Connected £342,000
South East National Centre of Writing £330,000
South West The Point £585, 284
South West Rising Arts Agency £215,458
London* School of Social Entrepreneurs £370,110
London* Shape London £185,000
London Sour Lemons £300,000
Midlands Staffordshire University £150,000

*Activity to be delivered nationally. Other projects will deliver in different local and regional geographies.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Contact information

Nisha Emich – National Communications Officer

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