Date 25 September 2009
Location Storey Creative Industries Centre, Lancaster
Attending Anil Ruia (Chair), Ruth Gould, Sarah Hall, Professor Lubaina Himid
Cheryl Martin, Andrea Nixon, Cllr Paula Pearson, Aileen McEvoy,
Howard Rifkin, Anthony Preston, Anthony Preston, David Gaffney,
Cllr Margaret Jackson (Observer)
Apologies Cllr Shan Alexander, Wyllie Longmore, Peter Mearns, Ian Tabbron
Note Taker LH
1 Notes from previous meeting
The Chair recorded thanks to Sarah Hall and Deborah
Barnard who were stepping down from, the Council. He
Introduced Cllr Margaret Jackson who was attending the
meeting as an Observer and was awaiting formal
approval from national council of her appointment.
Regional plan Council had received templates showing
how we plan against our objectives.
Acronyms – Council would not receive a list of acronyms
bit it was agreed that the terminology would be made
clear in the paper.
Council received a tabled booklet on housing market
renewals. They were asked to note that Elevate had
been nominated for a national housing award.
The notes were recorded as a true record.
Regional Council 25 September 2009 1 of 8
2 Feedback from the Chair on National
The Chair gave feedback on the recent national council
It was agreed that Council would receive a copy of the of
Art Council England’s Annual Review 2009.
3 Regularly funded organisations in review
Council discussed the outcome of the reviews of
Development if the Arts NW (DAN), Eden Arts and Mid
Mid Pennine Arts
If the gallery is closed what will replace it? Emerging
artists have found opportunities in this space
Confirmed work was on going in this part of the
region with visual arts officer. It was suggested that
we look at visual arts provision inn East Lancashire at
the next Council meeting
Council discussed the governance and management
of the organisation
Chair asked officers to go back and voice concerns at
the imminent annual review regarding the lack of
Need to accept that in the political climate councils
are cutting funding and this will continue
Council discussed organisations that serve remote
Support the organisation through 2010/11 but
support with conditions – Service Level Agreement
needs to be adhered to
Council received apologies on behalf of Officers
regarding the 2009-10 Funding Agreement, which in error
pre-emptively confirmed its 2010/11 revenue funding of
£189,778 and asked that Council endorse
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retrospectively. Council was asked to note that there is
progress with Mid Pennine
Development of the Arts in Northwich (DAN)
Council was asked to approve 2010/11 funding but to flag
up to DAN that there will be no further funding. This
decision will come back formally to the November Council
meeting and by then will have had a formal response
from DAN either written or verbal at the next meeting.
Council agreed to this but asked that officers give DAN
due warning of our intention to propose withdrawal of
funding post 2010/11.
Concern was expressed that Eden Arts do not have a
contract or memorandum of understanding between
themselves and Eden District Council to agree
deliverables for their funding. However they have
demonstrated prudent financial management. Have
appointed a new director and have done good work in the
past on literature development.
Council approved the following:
Approved the 2010/11 revenue grant of £29,463 for
Development of the Arts in Northwich (DAN).
Approved bringing to the 20 November 2009
Regional Council meeting a recommendation to not
renew funding to DAN after the current funding
agreement ends in March 2011.
Approved Officers discussing issues identified in the
Aperte report with DAN at its Annual Review on 2
October 2009 and to advise DAN at that meeting of
our intention to recommend to Regional Council on
20 November non-renewal of funding from 2011/12
and to advise DAN that it has the opportunity to
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respond to that recommendation and that its
response will be presented to Regional Council to
consider when making its decision.
Approved officers meeting the relevant officers of
Cheshire West and Cheshire to discuss potential
future support for DAN’s activities.
Confirmed the 2010/11 revenue grant of £38,562 for
Approved the request that Eden Arts produces a
Development Plan to address the issues and
recommendations in the Aperte consultants’ report as
prioritised by Arts Council officers. This plan should
include clear milestones and timeline with a deadline
for delivery of the plan of 1 December 2009 with
changes to be implemented, or be in process of
implementation, by 1 June 2010.
Noted the apology of Officers regarding the 2009-11
Funding Agreement with Mid Pennine Arts which in
error, pre-emptively confirmed its 2010/11 revenue
funding of £189,778 and to endorse this funding
Requested that Officers continue to work closely with
Mid Pennine Arts to monitor the implementation of its
Change Management Plan.
Meeting not quorate – these recommendations
ratified by further 3 members.
4 Organisational Review Implementation
Council received an update from the Executive Director.
She thanked Council members for their notes of support
and re-emphasised that she had always felt well
Regional Council 25 September 2009 4 of 8
supported and her decision was very much taken from a
Once the new Area Director was announced it was
undecided where they would be based – possibly would
hot desk across the three regional offices and national
office – the role would carry quite a strong national
Knowledge transfer with the organisation should be
retained as many staff from the north west office are
applying for jobs within the services centre and grants
Council received this paper for information.
5 Changes to Grants for the Arts
A better scheme for GfA will be created with £10K grants
processed by 6 weeks. The new team would be
structured around art form expertise. There will be a
period of closure for GfA in the Spring 2010. When GfA is
up and running again there will be a new on line
application from April 2010.
Advice will still be available to first time applicants. There
will not be as much 1+1 support to applicants but artists
need to feel they have a relationship with the council.
However there are things that we will need to do less of
with fewer members of staff. More discussion took place
on this under the Arts Strategy item
Ruth Gould had noted how positive the staff were.
Following the announcement of the restructure she had
met with members of staff and again offered support after
Christmas as the structure becomes more apparent.
Artforms are crossing all the time – there is a need to
Regional Council 25 September 2009 5 of 8
manage the new creative processes that do not fit
comfortably under a single art form.
Council discussed access issues with an on line process
and communities where English is not the first language.
A process needed to be put in place for specific
communities and the access issues would be brought
back to Council when clarified.
The hub idea was discussed – Regionally Funded
Organisations (RFOs) to act as hubs for support and
guidance. The RFOs that worked in this way (ie theatres)
worked well – but members noted that sometimes
organisations act as gatekeepers and block progress.
Council noted the report and agreed to act as advocates
for the changes within their communities of interest.
6 National Arts Strategy
Regional Council considered the question
What are the key issues for your region/ Can the
goals support and give focus to your regional work?
Main points of the discussion
Council members feel that the 5 goals are
ambitious and visionary but worry whether they
are also realistic and achievable – and they feel
that they do not yet have sufficient information and
detail to answer this
The goals are so ambitious that we must
acknowledge that Arts Council alone cannot
achieve them and neither can the portfolio of
funded organisations. We need to bring other
partners on board from the outset – including
government departments like DCSF, NHS and
also further and higher education and the other
DCMS cultural agencies
Regional Council 25 September 2009 6 of 8
Members urged us to seek this buy-in from
external partners and agencies before we sign up
to the goals – otherwise we may find the
partnerships difficult to establish in retrospect
Members strongly support our role in nurturing
artistic talent and welcomed Arts Council’s
commitment to this in the light of reducing staff
Members would like to see more emphasis on
digital engagement and see this as a key strength
in the north west
Members welcome the inclusion of Diversity as a
separate goal and endorse our ongoing
commitment to diversity in the workplace and
diversity in arts practice
Members believe that young peoples engagement
with the arts is important but if resources are
under pressure we should prioritise young people
with low aspirations and educational attainment
Members questioned whether the framework of 5
goals would help us to make substantial changes
to the portfolio and in their words to confront some
of the “sacred cows “
Members are asked to consider these points and to
respond to Aileen with any further points/observations no
later than the 13 October.
Council members reflected on the contents of the paper
and its attachment and answered the question detailed
7 Executive Director’s report
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In addition to the list of successful applications the
Executive Director confirmed support for Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic Society, Royal Exchange and Lowry and
the offer of support for Bluecoat of around £0.5m. All
applications we have put through to date with a
recommendation have been funded
City of Culture
The City of Culture has received 5 bids from the north
Council received a presentation from Joe Sumsion The
Dukes Lancaster and were joined for lunch by Regularly
Funded Organisations from the Lancaster area.
9 Date of next meeting
Friday 20 November 11am Conference Room, Arts
Council England NW
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