A report by Arts Council England, Museums, Libraries & Archives

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A report by Arts Council England, Museums, Libraries & Archives ...

A report by Museums, Libraries and Archives London, Arts Council London, and Sport

    England, London and English Heritage London

    Joint cultural agency work with local government in London, September 2008

1. Culture & Sport Strategic Reviews/Framework for Engagement Culture & Sport

    „A Passions for Excellent - An Improvement Strategy for Culture and Sport‟ proposed replacing

    regional commentaries with Culture and Sport Strategic Reviews or a Framework for Engagement

    Culture & Sport. Possible output for the reviews would be: 1) confirmation of progress on the st round of commentaries; 2) a summary identifying key conclusions and agreed actions from the 1

    actions which will form the basis of future work with the LSP and inform that regional cultural

    improvement plan and CAA risk assessment requirements; 3) a summary of best practice and

    improvement to be shared with the regional improvement network for action and response. IDEA

    have been consulting across the country on how CSSR‟s would best serve the sector in the

    emerging improvement framework, the conclusion of this work will be expected in the autumn.

2. Improvement Initiatives

    The London Cultural Improvement Programme, which is supported by Capital Ambition, London

    Centre of Excellence, Cultural Agencies, and other partners, is underway. Two thirds of London

    Boroughs have already signed up to the self-improvement programme using the Culture and Sport

    Improvement Tool and Peer Led Challenge methodology and the first tranche of Boroughs are

    currently undertaking their self assessments. Two thirds of eligible London Boroughs have also

    embarked on the Museum Development programme and will begin the improvement planning

    phase in October, after which they will be able to bid into an improvement pot. The contract for the

    London Library Change Programme feasibility phase was awarded to RSe Consulting on 6 June

    and the project is nearing its conclusion with a final report expected in the autumn. The project

    team has been selected for the Data Review work strand and a specification for the feasibility

    phase of the work has been developed. Other work strands for this project are scheduled to come

    on stream later in the year.

A Cultural Improvement Event was organised for the 19 June. This included the regional launch of

    the National Cultural Strategy “A Passion for Excellence” and covered other topical issues. A

    paper arising out of the conference “Next steps for London” will be discussed at the improvement

    Group on 9 September

Sue Thiedeman Cultural Services Improvement Manager is currently working on projects with the

    following Boroughs: Bexley, Enfield, Hackney, Harrow, Lambeth, Merton, and Waltham Forest.

The London Cultural Improvement Group continues to be well supported by Borough

    representatives and Cultural Agencies; its new website will be launched on 9 September as part of

    the London Councils new look site.

Contact: Tel: 07852 915 789

3. Modernising heritage library buildings

    The 2006 Library Buildings Survey commissioned by MLA found that as many as a third of UK library

    buildings are not fit for purpose. Moreover many older library buildings cannot meet the needs of a

    modern library service in terms of access, facilities and customer service. Modernisation of library

    buildings is recognised by local authorities as a priority but projects must take into account

    conservation needs and listed building consent. MLA London is working with English Heritage on

    developing clear guidelines for local authorities and in identifying examples of best practice where

    modernisation has been effectively balanced with heritage needs.


Contact Sophie Lancaster MLA London - Tel: 02075491702

    or Claire Craig - Tel: 02079733771

4. Library Change Programme

    In partnership with LLDA, MLA London, and other stakeholders is developing a feasibility study for a programme to deliver a step change in the way London‟s public library services are delivered. It aims to address a number of key strategic, resourcing, and environmental challenges faced by libraries in London. The contract was awarded to RSe Consulting on 9 June.

    Work to date includes: a rapid literature review and internal brainstorm meeting; initial statistical review of London‟s Libraries; telephone interviews with key stakeholders, and initial development of

    approach and materials for idea generation workshops. Next steps involve completing the statistical review; conducting further interviews; organising and delivering idea generation workshops.

    A series of interim meetings have been arranged with the project team to monitor progress.

Contact Sophie Lancaster: Tel: 020 7549 1702

5. Building Schools for the Future (BSF)

    There are now eighteen London Authorities engaged within the BSF Programme within London. This figure is likely to increase dependent upon the outcome of the expressions of interest to enter an accelerated interim wave 7. Added to this we are also aware that some authorities intend to get involved as soon as they can and will express an interest post-consultation. This has significant resource implications for the Region as we could see a large number of the remaining London authorities attempting to get involved in BSF over the next 12 -18 months. In anticipation, Sport England and Arts Council London regions have appointed a second BSF Manager and a BSF Information and Partnerships Officer to support the collaborative BSF work area. The new BSF Culture London team will be continuing to develop ways of supporting the BSF process; from promoting innovative design and effective community to use of sports and arts facilities, to creative consultation and curriculum reform.

    Sport England London Region has established contact with BSF Teams in all eighteen local authorities currently engaged in the BSF programme. PE and Sport Stakeholder Groups have been established in ten of these authorities. Importantly, all groups have direct links to the BSF Board either through nominated representatives from the Stakeholder Groups feeding into BSF Board meetings or BSF managers attending Stakeholder Groups.

    Arts and cultural stakeholder groups have been established in 3 authorities and a further 4 authorities are considering who should be represented on their groups to have maximum influence on the BSF Programme. This is a growing area of work particularly in light of the recent cultural offer and 5 hour entitlement.


    BSF Programme Manager London:

    BSF Programme Manager London: Ian Sutton (address tbc)

    BSF Information and Partnerships Officer:

6. Living Places London Partnership

    MLA London has now taken over as Chair of the Living Places London Partnership. This national initiative brings together DCMS and CLG, along with MLA, Sport England, Arts Council England, CABE, English Heritage and others (including the London Development Agency, London Councils and Thames Gateway London Partnership) to work together to ensure culture is embedded in the development of our towns and cities alongside other areas of key provision such as health care and transport. The London Partnership will focus primarily on the London Thames Gateway area.


    Some investment has been secured through the Thames Gateway Economic Development and Investment Plan process (led by LDA, SEEDA and EDDA) to develop a programme that

    showcases the culture and creativity of the Thames Gateway. The programme‟s content is yet to

    be developed in detail however; there is opportunity to develop material that will be used as part of the Inward Investment strategy developing for the Thames Gateway.

    There remains much more work to be done on this and to ensure that culture can benefit from the major investment opportunities in the London Thames Gateway area. Contact Graham Fisher for further information on this work: Tel: 020 7549 1708

    Place making In London Case Studies: Working with the GLA to produce case studies of Best Practice of cultural developments contributing to place making and area development. Contact: Tel: 020 7517 4763

7. London Thames Gateway

    The Thames Gateway continues to be a focus and priority place for the cultural agencies. Anita Nadkarni - London Thames Gateway Cultural Coordinator will continue to be joint funded by the

    Arts Council and MLA, together with TGLP in 2008/09. The coordinator‟s work programme will report into Living Places London Partnership. Anita is currently hosted by the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation working with them to support the incorporation of culture within their plans for key major development sites (including Canning Town, Barking Riverside and Rainham) and broker working relationships with LA cultural teams.

    The Culture Map pilot for 10 Gateway boroughs is now being rebuilt following some revision to data and is planned for completion in July. Both the Thames Gateway and London-wide pilots will used to inform the Data Review project with further market testing with LAs proposed. A report on the emerging cultural development picture for the London Thames Gateway is in draft, drawing on the work developed through the CultureMap pilot and consultation with Local Authorities towards the end of 2007. The report aims to assist the identification of strategic priorities, actions and policy development recommendations to support the development of the cultural offer within London Thames Gateway.

    Contact: or telephone: 020 7517 4763

    The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation have recently developed their own cultural strategy, and have appointed a Culture Project Manager to work on key initiatives across the London Thames Gateway area and help deliver these in partnership with the cultural co-ordinator, cultural agencies and boroughs.

Contact: or telephone: 0207 517 4759

8. The Cultural Offer, Find Your Talent

    In December 2007, the Government published the Children's Plan which announced an intention to establish a universal cultural entitlement for young people. 'Find your talent' is a new scheme designed to give young people in England the opportunity to experience at least 5 hours of high quality arts and culture every week, matching that for sport, enriching existing provision and contributing to the five Every Child Matters outcomes.

    Ten Find Your Talent Pathfinder projects have been selected to run for three years from September 2008. The Pathfinders are currently working on delivery plans which will be signed off at the start of September. Tower Hamlets is the London region Pathfinder project and will have a focus on parental engagement. MLA London, Arts Council England, and Creative Partnerships have been working with a range of national and regional partners to support the implementation of the selected bid.


Due to the large number of high quality unselected bids a further regional support package is being

    created with budget top sliced from the original ?25 million available. A paper on the proposed

    regional support package will be published in September 2008 with delivery due to start in April

    2009. This will not be in the form of financial support.

    Further information is available at:

     Contact: Sam Cairns 020 7549 1704

9 The Cultural Olympiad

    On 24 August, the Mayor of Beijing handed the Olympic flag to the Mayor of London, and the London

    Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony on Wednesday 17 September will feature many of the

    same cast as the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, reflecting London 2012‟s integrated approach

    to the Olympiad in the UK. It will also mark the launch of the London 2012 Education Programme.

    London 2012 have provided an online resource full of ideas and information to help children and

    young people to plan in-school activity at

The key moment after the Paralympic Handover will be the launch of the four year Cultural Olympiad

    over the weekend of 26-28 September 2008. Taking the theme of Open Weekend, it is intended to

    introduce people to the idea that there is a wealth of cultural activity on their doorstep, and provide a

    flavour of what the Cultural Olympiad will be like in the coming years. Many local authorities, cultural,

    community and sports organisations across the country have been planning exciting launch events

    and imaginative, creative activities for the months that follow. Launch events include opening up

    access to new spaces for cultural events, open rehearsals and behind the scenes tours, and

    creatively lighting up buildings and public places. If you are planning to do something, want to find

    out more about the launch weekend, or be included in the weekend‟s schedule and marketing

    material please contact:

The Cultural Agencies are working with partners in a number of ways to support the Cultural

    Olympiad and its major projects in London and nationally. A progress report on the major projects

    will be made available at the Cultural Olympiad launch in September. In addition, ?1.4m of funding

    has been allocated from the LDA to support learning and skills opportunities relating to the Cultural

    Olympiad. The prospectus for this fund is due to be launched in September. London 2012 are

    running a separate process for choosing projects and events to receive a special „Inspired by 2012‟

    brand mark, and be featured in London 2012 publicity for the Cultural Olympiad. If cultural

    organisations or projects would like to apply to use the brand mark, they should speak to their

    regional Creative Programmer, whose details can be found here <>.

More information about progress on the Cultural Olympiad major projects will be made available at

    the Cultural Olympiad launch in September.

    To find out more about what the Arts Council is doing towards London 2012, visit

For more information about what MLA are doing towards London 2012 visit:



    Arts Council England, London: or telephone: 0207 608 4125 English Heritage, London: or telephone: 02079733771 MLA London - or telephone: 020 7549 1702 Sport England, London Region: or telephone: 020 7273 1954


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