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More than 20 UK Cultural Institutions Secure Funding to Develop Leaders of Tomorrow

LONDON.- Four partnership projects involving some of the UK’s leading cutlural organisations have today been awarded more than £200,000 by the government-funded Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP) to strengthen leadership throughout the sector.

The funding is part of the CLP’s Meeting the Challenge: Development Programme, a groundbreaking initiative which will allow institutions such as Tate Modern, the Royal Opera House, Farnham Maltings, the Young Vic and the Serpentine Gallery to work alongside other cultural organisations on leadership development for some of the most talented people working in the sector today.

Culture Minister Barbara Follett, said: “The Cultural Leadership Programme is one of the great success stories of today's creative sector. Britain's arts institutions are among the best in the world and now, with access to the most up to date management expertise, they can be even better. That is why I am so pleased that the additional funding announced today will allow the CLP to work with even more arts organisations than before. I look forward to seeing how these new partnerships help to build models of leadership that reflect the innovation and creativity of the sector.”

Employment in the cultural and creative industries is expected to grow by over 200,000 by 2014 and most of that growth will be in senior positions, yet the UK’s cultural and creative industries are currently seriously underinvesting in developing our current and future leaders. The Meeting the Challenge Development Programme is designed to address this urgent need.

David Kershaw, Chairman of the Cultural Leadership Programme, said: “”Whilst the public and private sectors invest up to 3% of turnover in professional development, cultural organisations invest on average just 0.3%. This surely needs to change when you consider the contribution culture makes to all our lives as well as to the country’s economy.

We are therefore delighted to announce the first round of support for Meeting the Challenge. These projects involve an extremely impressive array of 22 organisations across the cultural and creative industries from new media and music to theatre and crafts. Each initiative has the potential to change the way the cultural sector approaches the issues of leadership development and career progression. We hope to see an equally ambitious set of partnerships applying in January 2009. ”

Each of the four projects will run for 18 months using a range of activities including placements, secondments, networking, coaching and mentoring to strengthen the organisations involved and create new leadership opportunities for the sector as a whole . Each project will also benefit from the services of a Lead Advisor provided by the Cultural Leadership Programme, who will be able to probe, encourage and share the learning from each of the projects enabling a wider dissemination for the sector as a whole.

A grant of £74,447 went to the New Music Plus...Producers Partnership, a project led by the PRS Foundation, the UK's only independent funder of new music across all genres. The partnership will give eight emerging music producers the chance to work with venues such as the Southbank Centre, Tate, the Serpentine Gallery, British Film Institute and other producers of new music such as the Big Chill Festival, Sound and Music and the Roundhouse. The project is backed by the Mayor of London and Time Out.

Vanessa Reed, Interim Director of the PRS Foundation, said: “ This funding from the Cultural Leadership Programme has enabled us to ensure that support for creative collaboration between independent music producers and some of London’s leading cultural institutions is accompanied by skills-based training, mentoring, time for reflection and international research. We hope that the scheme will provide an exciting cohort of new music producers with the chance to break beyond the margins of small specialist venues.”

Step Change, a partnership to fast-track career development in the performing arts, has been awarded £61,153. Partners include the National Theatre, the Royal Opera House, the Young Vic and Battersea Arts Centre.

Nick Starr, Executive Director of the National Theatre, said “We are delighted to have received funding from the Cultural Leadership Programme and to be part of Meeting the Challenge. This continued support for Step Change will feed the growth and development of a new wave of talented managers and producers in the cultural sector, and will help diverse leaders to flourish within our workforces”.

Outside London, the Waverley Creative Alliance was awarded £25,100 to develop West Surrey’s cultural sector and strengthen regional governance. Farnham Maltings, a centre for artists and communities in the region, is leading the project and will be running seminars, international visits and work placements for the other partners involved which include the local council.

Gavin Stride, Chief Executive of Farnham Maltings, said: “Meeting the Challenge gives us a real opportunity to both raise ambition and change the ways in which cultural provision is developed by bringing together artists, councillors, arts officers and board members to build their individual and collective leadership skills.”

A grant of up to £59,906 went to KELCAD, a partnership of four SMEs led by the Whoopee Club, a London-based burlesque and cabaret agency,and United Visual Artists, a collective which has worked with Massive Attack and contemporary artists such as Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread on permanent architectural installations and live performances. Both organisations operate outside traditional theatrical and gallery spaces and lack formal opportunities to develop. With the support of the Cultural Leadership Programme they will be forging relationships with producers, commissioners and directors across the arts sector so that they can grow their practice and develop skills within each organisation and its networks.

Keri Elmsly, Producer at United Visual Artists, said: “We are so pleased and excited to be given the opportunity to pursue our programme of cultural leadership. The mentors we are engaging cover a wide sector of the arts, and with their guidance and vision we will develop a stimulating programme."

The Cultural Leadership Programme is inviting applications for the next round of the Meeting the Challenge: Development Programme by 12 January 2009 and is particularly keen to receive applications from museums and heritage organisations.

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