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					Arts Council of Northern Ireland Invitation to Tender – Economic and Social Impact Analysis of the Grand Opera House
1 Introduction

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the prime distributor of public support for the arts. It was established in 1962 as a successor to the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) which had operated since 1942. The Arts Council became a statutory body on 1st September 1995. In addition, the Arts Council has statutory functions under the National Lottery Act 1993 as amended by the National Lottery Act 1998. On the 4 July 2001 the Arts Council launched its new five-year strategy, The Arts: Inspiring the Imagination, Building the Future. This strategy will run for the period 2001 to 2006 and is available on the Arts Council website,


Background Information

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has developed a programme of research activity to support the development of all artforms and wishes to commission an economic and social impact analysis of the Grand Opera House. This study will provide a better understanding of the contributions of the Grand Opera House to the economy, community and the sustainability of the arts in general.


Grand Opera House

The Grand Opera House is located on the busy thoroughfare of Great Victoria Street, at the start of what is known as the Golden Mile, Belfast’s main entertainment district. The theatre seats 1001 and plays to an audience of 300,000 people a year. It employs between 90 and 100 permanent staff, approximately 30 of which are full time employees. The Grand Opera House is now managed under a Trust. The Grand Opera House presents a wide range of live theatrical entertainment originating from around the world. As Northern Ireland's premier theatre, the Grand Opera House wishes to ensure that it is as accessible, friendly, and comfortable a venue as possible at which to enjoy of live theatre in a wide range of art-forms. Operational success is dependent on selling the maximum number of tickets for quality productions and events in a wide range of live theatrical forms, including drama, dance, opera, pantomime, musical theatre, music, comedy, and children's/family entertainment. The Grand Opera House Trust strives to ensure that income from the sale of tickets is at a level, which makes it affordable to present an ambitious programme, and to provide opportunities appropriate to all pockets.


Terms of Reference

Aim To undertake an evaluation to demonstrate the economic and social impact of the Grand Opera House. The research must: 1. Cover all activities of the Grand Opera House; 2. Cover as far as possible all available data collected on a local, regional and national basis on the Grand Opera House, including data relevant to audience profiles, capacity and attendance; 3. Consult with key stakeholders, audiences, suppliers, and emplo yees associated with the Grand Opera House and any other useful sources where appropriate to the study. Listed below are examples of research elements (detailed under the headings, economic and social impact), that should be included but not limited to within the study. The Arts Council will make available any existing information that is necessary to the successful outcome of the study. a) Economic Impact ♦ Evaluation of accounts spanning the financial years July 2000 to date and projected accounts for 2003-2004 including the amount of tax returned to the exchequer; (all data available); ♦ An investigation of how income (subsidy, sponsorship, box office etc.) is reinvested within the system. For example, salaries, promotion, printing catering education programmes etc. ♦ Value for money. (Comparison against ‘like’ theatres in the UK looking at for example the level of funding, sponsorship, the cost of programming etc.); ♦ Impact of the GOH on suppliers; ♦ Level of direct and indirect job creation; ♦ Working partnerships with tourist organisations, restaurants, accommodation and travel companies; ♦ Customer effects, footfall, induced spending, value added; ♦ Impact on the wider arts and cultural sector; b) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Social Impact Impact on an audience of 300,000 people a year; Impact of shows targeted for younger audiences; Promotion in schools, communities and with targeted groups; Impact of Educational theatre tours; Charity and signed performances; Targeted ticket pricing; Local pride in the theatre; Revitalisation of the city centre; Local and national pride - Projection of a positive image for N. Ireland abroad; Professional and diversified training opportunities;



A final report detailing the findings of the project should be delivered to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. It should address the brief described above and should combine narrative analysis from collated qualitative and quantitative research, and an evaluation of the findings to include some direction on future strategy. The final report should be supplied in hard copy, (8 bound copies and one loose for photocopying purposes) and electronic format.


Selection Criteria

The successful consultant(s) will be required to demonstrate that they have the following experience and knowledge: • • • • • • • Knowledge and experience of working within the arts and cultural sector in Northern Ireland. Experience of carrying out impact assessments and evaluations from both an economic and social perspective. Experience of assisting public sector organisations to undertake research and inform policy. The appropriateness of the methodology proposed; The tenderer’s availability to commence work on this contract, if successful, in April 2003; The tenderer’s ability to complete the work and produce the final report during July 2003; Cost

The Council will base its decision on the above criteria and will not decide on the basis of cost alone. Given the range of expertise required to carry out this task, the Council would be prepared to consider proposals where there is more than one contractor, provided that all the contractors are nominated in the tender and their contribution identified. NB The Council will not reimburse the expense of bringing consultants into Northern Ireland from elsewhere nor any accommodation costs.


Tender Submissions

Tender submissions should include the following information in a fully worked out project plan: • • Full details of the methodology to be applied; Full details of the timetable;

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CV’s for all personnel involved in the study, details of their proposed roles and a description of the suitability of the organisation and individuals to carry out the work; Cost broken down into days/personnel and illustrated against each of the main tasks; The quotation should be made inclusive of VAT and all necessary expenses in pounds sterling; Contact name and address.


Statement of Position

The Arts Council does not accept any liability for costs incurred in the production of consultants’ tender proposals. A formal agreement will be drawn up with the successful consultant and this agreement will include a condition that the Arts Council owns the intellectual property rights of the work.


Submission of Tender

Tenders must be returned by 12 Noon Friday 4th April 2003. (3 bound copies and 1 loose copy will be required). The tender must be in a sealed envelope marked “Tender – Impact of the Grand Opera House – Confidential” and addressed to: Nick Livingston Director of Strategic Development Arts Council of Northern Ireland MacNeice House 77 Malone Road BELFAST BT9 6AQ

Under no circumstances will late tenders will be considered.

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