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: email@example.com 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02075491702
or Claire Craig - Claire.Craig@english-heritage.org.uk 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
BSF Programme Manager London: Ian Sutton (address tbc)
BSF Information and Partnerships Officer: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: www.creative-partnerships.com/culturaloffer
Contact: Sam Cairns firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://paralympichandover.london2012.com
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: email@example.com http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/cultural-olympiad/open-weekend.php.
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 <http://www.london2012.com/plans/culture/now-to-2012/getting-involved.php>.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0207 608 4125 English Heritage, London: Claire.Craig@english-heritage.org.uk or telephone: 02079733771 MLA London - email@example.com or telephone: 020 7549 1702 Sport England, London Region: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 020 7273 1954