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Regional Council

Date           20 November 2009
Time           11-2pm
Location       Band on the Wall Manchester

Attending      Anil Ruia (Chair), Cllr Shan Alexander, Professor Lubaina Himid,
               Wyllie Longmore, Peter Mearns, Andrea Nixon, Aileen McEvoy,
               Howard Rifkin, David Gaffney, Charles Rowley, Ian Tabbron
Apologies      Ruth Gould, Cllr Margaret Jackson, Cheryl Martin, Cllr Paula Pearson,
               Jane Beardsworth
Note Taker     LH

                                                             Action      Date

1 Notes from previous meeting and
matters arising
Apologies were received from Ruth Gould, Cllr Margaret
Jackson, Cheryl Martin, Cllr Paula Pearson and Jane

   Page 2 Mid Pennine Arts - staff working on this –
    there will be a full paper on Pennine Lancashire at
    next meeting.

   National Arts Strategy – goes out to public
    consultation in the spring with 3 month consultation.

   City of Culture has received 5 expressions of interest
    from the north west. However Chorley is not now
    making a formal bid.

2 National Council Feedback from Chair

The Chair gave feedback on the recent National Council

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3 Regularly funded organisations

3a Review of Development of the Arts in Northwich

Council received updates on Development of the Arts in
Northwich (DAN) and Queer up North (QUN)

3a) Development of the Arts in Northwich

Council approved the non renewal of funds to the
Development of the Arts in Northwich from the end of

3b Queer up North (QUN )

Council noted that QUN were proposing to close after the
2010 festival because of financial difficulties in 2009/10.
Council approved our offer of financial support to QUN
through the release of final 2009/10 funds and 2010/11
funds and noted that QUN have agreed the conditions
attached to our funding support.


   That the revenue grant for DAN is not renewed
    after the current funding agreement ends in
    March 2011.
   That Arts Council officers meet with Cheshire
    West and Chester and Northwich Town Councils
    to discuss potential future support for DAN from
    these funders
   That a small organisational development grant be
    solicited through Grants for the Arts to support
    DAN through its transition from revenue funding
    to project funding, and to address some agreed
    shortfalls in operational standards (such an

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    application would be assessed according to
    normal processes and its outcome cannot be
   That Regional Council note the actions agreed in
    the annual review to ensure that during the time
    DAN remains in the RFO portfolio it addresses
    the concerns raised
   That officers of Arts Council proactively work
    with DAN and the local authority to establish
    which elements of DAN’s programme could be
    eligible for consideration via project funding post
   In line with the proposal set out in the letter of 30
    October Council noted the offer of funding to
    QUN for 2009-11 to support the closure of the
    company, whether or not the directors of the
    company decide a festival is to be delivered in
    2010. Conditions would be attached to such
    funding as detailed in the letter. This would
    signify the end of funding to QUN (the company),
    and QUN would cease to be an RFO of the Arts
4 Regional Arts Council Terms of

There was to be no substantial changes following
Regional Council input. Regional Councils will be asked
for input and advice on policy and strategy, advocacy,
accountability and decision making on grants up to £800k

Council meetings are to be reduced to 3 per year

The Chair discussed the changes – and also advised
Council that recruitment was taking place for 3 local
authority members and 2 independent.

Council made the following observations:

   Council were concerned that with only 3 meetings a
    year they will not be properly in touch with or

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    informed about RFOs to properly deal with the issues
   The Chair reassured members that sufficient
    meetings will take place to ensure that members are
    adequately informed = in particular to make decisions
    on RFO funding
   Council felt strongly that we will need to put in place
    other ways for them to engage in the work if we are
    to get the best from them as advocates
   They were also concerned that the proposals don’t
    mention the new area level structure and wondered if
    this is sustainable in the long term.


Council commented on the Revised Council terms of
reference and these comments will be fed back to
National Council

5 RFO Protocol

Council received an introduction to the paper. This was a
draft document which would act as a framework of all
those relationships with RFOs and provide a benchmark
to see overview of our relationships and consistency
across offices. It would prove useful in a changing
organisation to introduce new staff quite a complicated
area of work.

Council felt it provided a very good insight of the full
picture and warmly welcomed it. There were some
concerns that it is very internally focused and misses
some of the wider context detail.
Council felt more could be done to capitalise on the
goodwill of RFOs – in general we don’t ask enough of
them as partners
One big omission is any mention of the Diversity and
Equality action plans that have been such a key feature
of our work with RFOs recently.

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Council commented on the draft relationship

6. National Arts Engagement

This is part of a much wider discussion with national
colleagues. It was felt it was a good initiative but timing
bad because fewer resources. It was agreed to circulate
the Red Book to Council members.

Overall Council were delighted to see this taking shape.
They felt we should pursue relationships with new
partners – The Trafford Centre, Amazon and the new
Visit England were suggested. Council were unanimous
in their view that the term ‘Dinner and Show’ is
demeaning and although they accepted that we are using
it as internal shorthand they urge that an alternative(s) is
come up with.


Council endorsed the National Arts Engagement
Programme and commented upon key elements of
Discussed the strategic issues raised in the paper –
particularly related to:
   a) long term questions around how research into
      audience development informs strategic
      decisions around the arts provision
   b) how we work with the sector now to develop
      content and marketing strategies to reach
      these target audiences
   c) act as champions for this programme with the
      arts sector

7 Executive Director’s report
Sustain fund - £40M set aside to help organisations

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through the recession. Every organisation recommended
through this office has been successful to date
Artists Taking the Lead (ATTL) big artist led project
Anthony McCall’s Projected Column – Council received a
collection of the press cuttings.
AmbITion programme Improving digital knowledge –
Scottish Arts Council launched AmbITion Scotland.
Sarah Fisher delivered AmbITtion working with the sector
led by FACT and Folly

Organisational Review The following appointments
have been made to the Senior Management Team:
Ian Tabbron
Anthony Preston
Jane Beardsworth
The appointments will take effect from 1 April/.
The Area Executive Director and Regional Director are
currently being recruited externally.
11 of North West staff have been appointed into Grants
Unit so far – these appointments will take effect from 4
January so from beginning of January staff resource will
be light in the NW office
51 RFOs will not have their current senior officer from
Jan 2010. The Executive Director has written to RFOs
advising the current situation and giving them the name
of their lead officer.

Council appointments Recruiting for 5 new members

Building cost efficiencies The north west office has
made a saving of 25K in office and energy costs led by
the Office Services Manager, Chris Campbell.
Success stories
Our Assistant Office Music Ailis Ni Rian has had her play
TILT travelling internationally. Both Ailis and Eddie
Thomas are moving to the Grants Unit so the north west
will not have a relationship manager for music until
recruitment has taken place. The north west is going to
refer to Yorkshire staff for Grants for the Arts assessment
etc. Will also be able to call on Eddie’s and Ailis’s
expertise as they are moving within the organisation.

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                                                           Action   Date

Redundancies All staff leaving the organisation will
receive notice in December and will be leaving by end of
March 2010 The Arts Council will try to support
individuals and help them move forward as they make
new careers outside the Arts Council.

Council were invited to drinks with staff on 1 December


Council noted the report and agreed that in future
this paper will include a summary detail of the way in
which Council members have supported our work
between Council meetings

8 Stakeholder Focus: presenting the

Council received a presentation on the findings.


Council noted the successful delivery of the project
to date
Considered and debated the findings
Provided feedback to the Executive Director on the
actions the Arts Council should undertake to improve
relationships with stakeholders

9 Date of next meeting: 4 February 2010 in the
Conference, Arts Council England NW

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