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Arts Organizations Across the UK Win Funding to Develop Leaders of Tomorrow
Street Scene, The Young Vic's co-production with the Opera Group & Watford Palace Theatre last summer.

LONDON.- Cultural organisations up and down the UK from Penzance to Gateshead have been awarded more than a quarter of a million pounds by the Government-funded Cultural Leadership Programme (CLP).

The funding has been given as part of the second round of the CLP’s Meeting the Challenge: Development Programme, a groundbreaking initiative launched in 2008 to improve leadership in the UK’s cultural sector which generates an estimated £23 billion for the economy. Today’s announcement will allow institutions such as the Theatre Royal York, Kettles Yard art gallery in Cambridge and Tate St Ives to produce more ambitious creative work by nurturing the leadership skills of their most talented people.

Twenty-three organisations have formed four partnerships in order to run the leadership development projects. All the projects will run for 18 months using a range of activities including placements, secondments, networking, coaching and mentoring. They will also benefit from the support of a Lead Advisor provided by the Cultural Leadership Programme.

David Kershaw, Chairman of the Cultural Leadership Programme and CEO of M&C Saatchi, said: “We have already seen some fantastic results from the first round of leadership projects which began last year and are delighted that the model of partnerships between creative and cultural organisations of different sizes is working so well.

“Today’s announcement represents another important step towards ensuring cultural leadership in the UK is properly supported and invested in. We are particularly excited about the Four York partnership which has the potential to transform the cultural landscape of an entire city from its theatres and library to its gardens and museums.”

Four York is a partnership between York Museums Trust, York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre and York City Archives and City Library which covers all aspects of the arts and culture in the City of York. They are using their grant of £51,000 to develop their collective ability to reach new audiences and to improve the quality of their creative programmes.

Daniel Bates, Chief Executive, York Theatre Royal, said: “This funding will bring our four organisations together to help to raise cultural ambition and practice in York by both growing and widening our audiences as well as increasing the quality and ambition of our creative programming. This is the first time we have pooled our resources of staff, networks and cultural expertise and it promises to be an exciting project.”

The Leadership Lab, a north-west-based partnership of three performing arts and music organisations together with Substance, a leading IT specialist, has been awarded £60,000 to develop a programme of activity for leaders both within and outside the partner organisations. One of the main aims of the programme is to encourage leaders to embrace risk, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.

Tina Redford, Head of Music Leader North West, said: “Given our Meeting the Challenge programme is called the Leadership Lab, this grant enables everything we deliver, as a partnership, to have a high degree of risk and experimentation. This is a delightfully rare opportunity and we intend to capitalise upon it.

“The partnership itself is an innovative model with a "roving co-ordinator" and no lead organisation. Partnerships often fall prey to economics and politics. By creating a genuinely democratic model, we will have equal ownership of the programmes successes or failures. It would be fantastic if this way of partnership-working could be a new model for us to share across our region, and, indeed the wider arts sector.”

The Associate Company Scheme has been awarded £50,000 to provide leadership and organisational development opportunities for three producing companies at the Young Vic. Executive and artistic staff from The Opera Group, Fevered Sleep and B3Media will receive formal mentoring, consultation and advice sessions from senior Young Vic staff and together with the Young Vic will create work in new collaborations which build capacity and expertise.

David Lan, Artistic Director at the Young Vic, said: “At the Young Vic we have always collaborated widely, supporting young companies like PUSH, Vesturport of Iceland and Collective Artistes who have gone on to establish international profiles.

“The Associate Company Scheme, supported by the Cultural Leadership Programme and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, expands this commitment, offering companies at a crucial stage in their development the chance to ‘plug in’ to the Young Vic’s artistic and executive directors as well as all the other varied processes that constitute the life of a producing theatre. Based in the Jerwood Pod at the Young Vic, it aims to provide holistic and unparalleled support for some of the most exciting theatre-makers and creative entrepreneurs of the future.”

The Leadership and Organisational Development Programme, a partnership led by Tate, has been awarded £100,000. The money will be used to develop a programme for existing and future leaders working within 11 museums and art galleries in England - all of which are starting or are in the middle of capital development projects. The partner organisations include The Hepworth in Wakefield and BALTIC in Gateshead.

Caroline Collier, Director, Tate National, said: “Tate and 11 other UK cultural organisations are absolutely thrilled that a significant grant awarded by the Cultural Leadership Programme will enable them to collaborate in devising and delivering a much needed Leadership and Organisation Development programme for the UK’s cultural sector. The project is very timely in that all partners are either emerging from, in the middle of or about to embark on capital developments.

“The programme entails an action research project to pilot best practice strategies for nurturing existing, emerging and future cultural leaders throughout the country, while contributing to continued and sustainable standards of excellence and prosperity across the sector. It will build on the Tate Connects network, a UK-wide network of cultural organisations established by Tate to promote the development of a thriving and sustainable visual arts ecology in Britain.”

Art Fund | Theatre Royal York | Kettles Yard art gallery | Cambridge | Tate St Ives | York Museums Trust | York Theatre Royal | Pilot Theatre and York City Archives | City Library |

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