Arts Council England

Designated status recognises the collections of the Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons' combined museum, archive and library collections have been awarded Designated status by Arts Council England. Designation identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance.

New health focus for libraries

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has announced that four 'universal offers' will be rolled out nationally to create an integrated approach to library services in England and Wales.

The four service areas covered are health, reading, information, and digital and the new national approach aims to clarify what the public should be able to expect from their library.

Other initiatives announced include the introduction of the first national books on prescription scheme in association with the Department of Health.

Applications open for a national provider to help arts and cultural sector engage with public sector commissioning

Arts Council England is looking for a national provider to run a three-year programme which will help organisations and artists engage with strategic commissioning opportunities in the public service sector.

Funding of up to £895,000 will be invested in the Cultural Commissioning Programme, to help organisations and artists engage with and make a meaningful contribution to public services including health, education and adult social care.

LGA and Arts Council England joint statement of purpose

The Local Government Association and Arts Council England have signed a joint statement of purpose which is designed to ensure that national cultural policy and joint support helps to boost growth through culture.

DCMS and Arts Council England budgets cut in Autumn Statement

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s budget will be cut by £34m over the next two years, under plans announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week.

DCMS will lose £12m in 2013/14 and £22m in 2014/15 from its total budget. The cuts have been passed on to Arts Council England which sees budget cuts of £3.9m (1 per cent) in 2013/14 and £7.7m (2 per cent) in 2014/15. Arts Council England has written to funded organisations warning them to expect similar cuts.

Arts Council England: Catalyst Arts – deadline 23 January

A £7m fund open to application from consortiums of organisations. The aim of the Catalyst Arts: building fundraising capacity scheme is to enable arts organisations with an underdeveloped fundraising model to increase capacity and expertise in this area and improve their resilience.

Arts Council England announces details of its new structure

Arts Council England has announced details of its new structure, which comes into operation on 1 July 2013.

The changes come as a result of the Government's requirement - as part of Arts Council England’s settlement for 2011-15 - that it reduce its administrative costs, by the end of March 2015.

Proposals for these changes were refined during a period of formal consultation with staff and unions, as well as through engagement with the arts and cultural sector.

The Space to continue as a freely available digital arts service

Arts Council England has announced that following a pilot phase, The Space is to continue for a further six months. The new, freely available digital arts service that has been developed in partnership by the Arts Council England and the BBC is being extended to 31 March 2013. This is to allow more time to conduct a full evaluation of the existing service and to explore the potential of a permanent digital service for the arts.

Arts Council England’s Creative people and places fund opens for round two applications

Earlier this year, the Arts Council announced awards to the first round of its Creative People and Places acheme. The second round will offer funding for projects between £500,000 and £3m over the next three years. The Creative people and places fund aims to focus investment in parts of the country where people's involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average, with the aim of increasing the likelihood of participation.

New Arts Council Chair

Sir Peter Bazalgette has been named as the new Chair of Arts Council England. The former Creative Director of Endemol – which brought the TV series Big Brother to UK TV screens, Sir Peter is currently Chair of English National Opera. He will take up his post early in 2013, succeeding Dame Liz Forgan, who has been Chair of Arts Council England since February 2009. She will remain in the role until her four year tenure comes to an end on 31 January 2013.

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