A Risk Worth Taking by sdfsb346f

VIEWS: 101 PAGES: 36

More Info
									                                          APPENDIX A

         A Risk Worth Taking

    Arts and Culture In Waltham Forest

    A Review of Practice, Provision and Potential

                   Sue Robertson

                      July 2008

Summary of Contents

                       Page 339
1.         Executive Summary

2.         Introduction

3.         Relevance and Importance

4.         Scene-setting

5.         Current Position

6.         Strategy 2020

      •    A Realistic Horizon
      •    New Forms of Delivery
      •    Consultation and Intelligence Gathering
      •    An Entitlement Model
      •    Creating Cultural Hubs

7.         Key Strategies

      •    Children and Young People
      •    Commissioning and Collaboration
      •    Capacity Building
      •    Cultural Regeneration
      •    Cultural Tourism

8.         Key Themes

      •    The Arts of Living
      •    Digital Media and the Creative Industries
      •    Cultural Connections
      •    People, Places and Performance
      •    Arts, Health and Happiness

9.        Operational Issues

      •    Marketing and Communications
      •    Investment and Fund-Raising
      •    Structure and Governance
      •    Skills and Competences
      •    Monitoring and Evaluation

10. Summary of Key Recommendations

11. Possible Next Steps

12.       Appendices

      •    Meetings and Consultation
      •    Documents and Reference
      1. Executive Summary

                                        Page 340
1. This Review sets the context for a bold development of arts and
   cultural provision in Waltham Forest, suggesting why now is the
   moment to define the way forward in ambitious terms and act with
   commitment and conviction. It argues that arts and cultural provision
   are not only valuable and enjoyable in their own right but that they
   contribute to the delivery of a range of other public policy objectives –
   social, civic, economic, educational and environmental – as well as
   acting as key drivers for regeneration. As such, arts and culture need
   to sit at the heart of the Council’s Sustainable Community Strategy and
   other key policy initiatives.

2. It analyses current practice and provision in broad terms, both in the
   Council and in the Borough as a whole, looking at achievements and
   unfulfilled potential. It proposes that, as part of a long-range strategy
   informed by improved consultation and intelligence gathering, the
   Council take a step back from direct delivery and concentrate instead
   on facilitation, programming co-ordination and promotion, strategic
   development and funding, capacity building, commissioning and
   collaboration, (including consideration of fresh ways of working with
   Apex Arts, formerly Waltham Forest Arts Council). It also argues for
   increased Council investment, both revenue and capital, to be matched
   by a similar increase in fund-raising and income-generation.

3. The Review offers a framework for development for discussion and
   consideration, and suggests that, amongst others, the Local Strategic
   Partnership could play a key role by setting up a thematic group on arts
   and culture to consider implementation of the Review’s
   recommendations. It includes five key strategies – children and young
   people; commissioning and collaboration; capacity building; cultural
   regeneration; and cultural tourism. It suggests that these could be
   intercut with five key themes focussed around the arts and crafts
   movement and contemporary living; digital media and the creative
   industries; international links and global connections; people, places
   and performance; and the arts, health and happiness.

4. It proposes the development of a network of “cultural hubs”, forming
   part of the Council’s key regeneration initiatives, which would be the
   focus for these strategies and themes and where human and capital
   infrastructure would be concentrated. It suggests key partners and
   agencies in London that the Council might wish to consult or work with
   in delivering its plans.

5. Finally it makes a series of recommendations about some operational
   matters. In addition to investment and fund-raising, these include
   marketing and communications; structure and governance, skills,
   competences and capacity, monitoring and evaluation. It recommends
   a short-term Associate Director for the Arts and Culture at executive
   level to help ensure that the arts move up the corporate agenda and
   are fully integrated into cross-cutting Council policy, strategy and action

                                Page 341
     plans, and argues that the arts need weighty “champions”, both within
     the Council and in the Borough. It also suggests possible next steps.

2. Introduction

  1. It is a good moment for Waltham Forest to take a serious look at its
     arts and cultural provision. The pre-1965 administrative areas of
     Leyton, Walthamstow and Chingford had their own arts and cultural
     facilities designed to serve their local communities, now adapted for
     changed use in response to shifts in population and life-styles, added
     to as the concept of leisure has emerged through the 1980s and 1990s
     and the population has become more mobile and more diverse, or
     fallen into disuse and disrepair as economic pressures and changing
     priorities have taken their toll.

  2. The Borough’s population has grown dramatically, rising during the 19th
     century from 6,500 to 150,000 with an estimate of in excess of 220,000
     today. It is also looks set to rise by 10% with an additional 20,000
     people by 2026 and a target of 6,650 new homes within ten years.
     Imaginative planning will be needed to strike an appropriate balance
     and an intelligent relationship between work and retail development,
     housing and services, green spaces, open public areas and cultural
     and leisure facilities. Getting this right will be key to creating a
     sustainable community and to the quality of life for all residents.

  3. The Borough is characterised by a combination of largely Victorian
     terraces (with some later housing development) and high streets (some
     in visible decline) including the A112 stretching from top to bottom of
     the Borough and one of the longest street markets in the world in
     Walthamstow Town Centre. Housing and retail is interspersed with light
     industrial units, lock-ups and garages, all bordered by the intense
     green or open spaces of Epping Forest to the east and the Lea Valley
     to the west.

  4. A quick tour around Waltham Forest would suggest that the planners of
     an earlier day assumed people would eat, sleep, shop and perhaps
     work in the Borough, maybe taking time out occasionally to stretch their
     legs or take the family for a picnic. The arts – music, theatre, dance,
     painting, photography, sculpture, cinema, comedy, cabaret and other
     forms of performance work and popular entertainment – are not much
     visible in the built environment or the public realm. The notable
     exceptions to this are, of course, the fine network of public libraries and
     the William Morris Gallery. A later development, the theatre in Lloyd
     Park is now run down and soon to be demolished. The EMD Cinema
     has been boarded up and unused for many years. Even the well-kept
     and acoustically-sound Walthamstow Assembly Hall could be mistaken
     for the Council Assembly Chamber from the outside. A casual visitor
     could be forgiven for thinking that Waltham Forest does not value the
     arts or see them as an important part of the life of the community.

                              Page 342
5. This is far from the reality. There is a programme of festivals organised
   each year by the Council with and for local communities; examples of
   public art in some streets and train stations; clusters of artists - such as
   E17 Art Trail, Inky Cuttlefish, users of Changing Room Gallery
   workspaces and Barbican Arts Trust - moving into the area and setting
   up studios, exhibitions and education projects; the Borough’s own
   orchestra, the Forest Philharmonic; a wide-ranging community arts and
   education programme under the title “Fellowship is Life”; a recently-
   launched Waltham Forest Literature Festival; exciting plans for the
   William Morris Gallery within the context of the development of Lloyd
   Park and more.

6. However the arts do not yet appear to many to be high on the
   Borough’s list of priorities, good stories remain untold and opportunities
   for development remain to be grasped. The big questions – what
   should residents expect to see and have access to in the Borough;
   what facilities can residents be assisted and encouraged to make best
   use of outside the Borough (through promotion, transport links,
   partnership, etc) and what can Waltham Forest uniquely provide that
   will attract visitors into the Borough from London and further afield,
   remain to be answered.

7. There is a residual sense, left over from an earlier planning era, that
   arts and cultural experiences can and should be found elsewhere, in
   central London, the West End perhaps. In some ways developments in
   neighbouring boroughs - such as Stratford Circus in Newham, Ocean
   and the Hackney Empire in Hackney, the Bernie Grant Centre in
   Haringey, Rich Mix and the Whitechapel in Tower Hamlets - increase
   this perception. It makes good sense, of course, to plan in terms of
   complementary cross-Borough arts and cultural provision whilst also
   developing appropriate Borough specific facilities and activities. The
   pace of development in neighbouring boroughs, including the Thames
   Gateway, is another good reason for re-positioning provision in
   Waltham Forest in relation to what is going on around it.

8. London 2012 and Waltham Forest’s position as one of the five Olympic
   boroughs provide a unique opportunity to focus on arts and culture as
   part of the Cultural Olympiad. 2012 will be a moment to demonstrate
   that Waltham Forest not only has - and is planning for - first-rate, fully
   integrated local provision, working with its partners in East London, but
   also has some particular facilities and activities of standing in London,
   the UK and around the globe.

9. The Borough is increasingly positioning itself as a vital part of the
   capital as well as a great place to live and work. It has a new
   confidence and sense of direction, and the recent launch of its
   Sustainable Community Strategy - Our Place in London – reflects that.
   The arts and culture need to sit at the heart of the Sustainable
   Community Strategy and have a potent role to play in achieving the

                                 Page 343
     Council’s priorities and commitments set out in that document,
     including managing population growth and change; creating wealth and
     opportunity for residents; and retaining more wealth in the Borough.

  10. This Review has been commissioned by the London Borough of
      Waltham Forest and undertaken by Sue Robertson, working in
      consultation with Paul Roberts, Director of Strategy at the Improvement
      and Development Agency for local government (I&DEA). The brief was
      to conduct a relatively short, focussed and high level piece of work.
      The Review seeks to provide the London Borough of Waltham Forest
      with an informed overview and analysis of what is currently in place
      and what is possible, with an ambitious but realistic set of aspirations
      and ideas, and with an initial look at practical implications and possible
      next steps. It does not seek to set policy or strategy, to carry out
      detailed feasibility work or to recommend precise levels of investment.
      It is intended to stimulate further discussion, provoke debate and
      enable the Council to reach its own conclusions about the best way
      forward based on consultation with key stakeholders and interested

  11. The Report has been based on desk-research; reading of relevant
      documents; telephone interviews; and meetings with a number of
      individuals and organisations, both within the Council and in the arts
      and cultural community. This has been a sampling of views, practice
      and opinions rather than a definitive survey. (See Appendix 1 Meetings
      and Consultation and Appendix 2 Documents and References). It has
      not included a review of library provision, sport and leisure centres
      other than as they may affect or work with arts and cultural activity.

     Thanks go to all those who gave up their valuable time to share their
     thoughts. The author’s role has been to draw out and pull into a single
     shape just some the ideas and aspirations of those who live, work or
     care about the arts and cultural activity in the Borough, whilst adding
     an outside perspective

3. Relevance and Importance

  1. Why should the Council take the arts and cultural activity seriously and
     pay particular attention to this strand of its work over the next few
     years? The arts and culture are big business, contributing to the
     economy, regeneration and community development, personal health
     and well-being, in a wide range of contexts across the country. The
     creative industries are estimated to contribute more than 5% of GDP
     nationally and in London alone account for over 500,000 jobs. It has
     been demonstrated in urban and rural areas - from St Ives to St
     Magnus, from Greenwich to Gateshead, from Margate to Manchester -
     that vibrant arts and cultural provision can;

         -   enhance quality of life
         -   help create cohesive communities

                              Page 344
            -   celebrate cultural diversity
            -   foster tolerance and understanding of others

      “Manage population growth and change/Cultivate civic participation, cohesion and
     independent living so everyone feels they belong” Sustainable Community Strategy

            -   enrich education and learning
            -   nurture creativity, imagination and discipline in problem-solving
            -   develop confidence and social skills
            -   help tackle anti-social behaviour and crime

“Create wealth and opportunity for residents/Provide children and young people with the skills
     and confidence to compete in a global economy” Sustainable Community Strategy

    “Retain more wealth in the borough/Improve community safety and reduce anti-social
                       behaviour” Sustainable Community Strategy

            -   provide the basis for skills development and employment
            -   generate new small and medium enterprises
            -   encourage businesses into an area, boosting employment and
                the economy
            -   drive or act as major contributors to economic and community

Create wealth and opportunity for residents/Achieve full employment” Sustainable Community

   Create wealth and opportunity for residents/Make the most of the regeneration of East
                       London” Sustainable Community Strategy

            -   encourage individuals and families to live and stay in an area
            -   give residents a sense of pride in where they live
            -   provide a positive profile and reputation in the wider world
            -   attract visitors, bringing inward investment in terms of use of
                shops, cafes, bars, bed and breakfast
            -   helping to create a flourishing night-time economy

       “Manage population growth and change/Create a more economically balanced
          population/Reduce population churn” Sustainable Community Strategy

Retain more wealth in the borough/Create vibrant town centres with an attractive leisure and
                    commercial offer” Sustainable Community Strategy

            -   contribute to physical and mental health and well-being
            -   enhance the physical environment, helping make better places
                to live, work and play
            -   generate engagement with, and respect for, the public realm
            -   raise awareness of the thoughtful use of materials and
                environmental issues

 “Create wealth and opportunity for residents/Ensure residents are fit and healthy for work”`
                            Sustainable Community Strategy

                                         Page 345
   Retain more wealth in the borough/Transform the design and quality of public space!
                            Sustainable Community Strategy

 “Manage population growth and change/Respond to climate change/Require individuals,
        families… to change their behaviours” Sustainable Community Strategy

  2. Despite this, the Regional Commentary on Cultural Services in the
     London Borough of Waltham Forest 2008 (DCMS/Government
     Offices/Regional Cultural Agencies) observes “The cultural ambitions
     of the Council are not evident in their key strategies. The Community
     Strategy 2012 ‘Waltham Forest Working Together’ shows minimal
     recognition of the part that culture can play in helping to deliver Council
     agendas”. The Sustainable Community Strategy takes things further
     with a paragraph stating the Council’s commitment to “improving the
     range of things to do in the Borough” and creating “multi-functional
     town centres…to bring together other services such as leisure and
     cultural provision…” This is supported by a thematic paper on Leisure
     and Public Space which clearly recognises the potential and the need
     for joined up work across the Authority backed by investment.
     Nonetheless, the documents outlining vision and plans for the Council’s
     three priority regeneration areas – Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow
     Town Centre and the Northern Olympic Fringe (including Leyton) –
     make barely a mention of the arts and culture as they stand.

4. Setting the Scene

  1. The current work of Culture and Leisure Services is described and
     analysed in some detail in the Audit Commission’s Services Inspection
     Report 2007 and in the Regional Commentary on Cultural Services in
     the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Both these documents make
     valuable recommendations and set an important agenda for the
     operational aspects of the Council’s work, some of which is reinforced
     in this Review. Cultural Services were assessed as a one-star service
     with promising prospects for improvement in the Inspection Report

  2. Cultural and Leisure Services sit within the Adult and Community
     Services Directorate and include sections with responsibility for
     Libraries, Museums and Galleries; Arts and Events; Sports and
     Leisure. Also within the Adult and Community Services Directorate is
     the Community Learning and Skills Unit (CLASS) as well as a wide
     range of services for adult and older people, including Housing.

  3. Libraries, Museums and Galleries is responsible for the management
     and development of the Borough’s network of ten libraries with related
     reading and arts events for children, families and adults; and for the
     William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum with their related
     education and outreach programmes.

  4. Arts and Events is responsible for the co-ordination, development and
     direction of a range of formal and informal events with an emphasis on
     disadvantaged groups in the community. It directly manages a

                                  Page 346
   programme of festivals with an emphasis on cultural diversity and
   community involvement. These include the Young People’s Caribbean
   Carnival, Green Fayre, Mela, Chingford Day, Walthamstow Festival,
   Car Free Day in Leytonstone, a number of other small cultural or
   religious festivals for particular groups, street entertainments in
   Walthamstow and Leytonstone Town Centres, ballroom dancing events
   and social activities for children and older people, events to celebrate
   Black History Month, Fireworks Night and a Christmas Concert.
   Recently it has also taken on responsibility for the management of all
   aspects of the Borough’s two Assembly Halls in Chingford and

5. Arts and Events is also responsible for developing partnerships with
   the voluntary sector, the creative industries, learning partners,
   community groups and others with a view to increasing participation in
   the arts; for the management and development of the Changing Room
   Gallery with its small number of artists’ studios and exhibition space;
   for the management of the Waltham Forest Theatre in Lloyd Park,
   shortly to be demolished; and for the East London Drama and Music
   Centre in Draper’s Field. In addition it commissions and project
   manages art in public places, seeks to promote visitor attractions, and
   investigates and co-ordinates applications for additional funding.

6. Apex Arts, formerly Waltham Forest Arts Council, is an independent
   charitable association made up of voluntary organisations and
   individuals, funded by Waltham Forest Council. It was set up in 1976
   with the aim of championing and supporting the development of the
   arts in Waltham Forest in partnership with the local authority. In 2007
   the Council commissioned Apex Arts, through a funding contract, to
   manage a number of functions and activities on its behalf including:

        -   distribution of small grants (total £20,000; maximum application
            £2,000) and the Hitchcock Film Fund (total £10,000)
        -   delivery of a range of community arts activities and input to
            delivery of festivals
        -   training and professional development in arts and events
        -   advice and support to voluntary arts organisations

   In total Apex Arts receives £65,000 per year from Waltham Forest
   Council plus office accommodation, general office costs and one full-
   time post to provide administrative support.

7. Cultural and Leisure Services currently has a published vision

 “Our vision is to offer people enjoyable and enriching cultural and learning opportunities
   where creativity and imagination are expressed and encouraged thereby promoting
                      wellbeing, respect, tolerance and understanding.”

   and specific strategies for individual arts forms/areas of its work but no

                                      Page 347
     overarching cultural strategy. It is committed to developing this in
     partnership with the arts and cultural community and sees this Review
     as an important step towards that.

5. The Current Position

  1. The arts infrastructure in the Borough is weak. There are only two
     resident arts organisations in receipt of regular funding (RFOs) from
     Arts Council London – Continental Drifts and Masquerade. There are
     few notable arts venues other than the William Morris Gallery, Vestry
     House Museum and the Halls (Walthamstow Assembly Hall and
     Chingford Hall). Changing Room Gallery, the Walthamstow Theatre in
     Lloyd Park and the Centre in Draper’s Field provide valuable short-
     term facilities but none are fit-for-purpose in the longer-term. Whilst
     there is a growing network of artists and practitioners living and
     working in the area, particularly in the visual arts, many of them feel
     isolated and unsupported. Voluntary groups do not always have the
     skills, experience or resources to run professional arts and cultural

  2. The Council’s response to this has been to intervene directly, taking on
     the management of a wide range of provision, working with the
     community, as described in Section 4 above, with a view to
     strengthening and sustaining a regular programme of events and
     activities for residents. Whilst this is a logical response to the
     challenges it faces, it has had a number of negative consequences at
     the same time as providing almost all the activity currently on offer.
     Given the limited financial and human resources the Council has, it has
     meant that:

         - the Arts and Events team, in particular, has spread itself very
           thinly. Responsible for the direct delivery of over 100 events
           annually, it has set up expectations which it may not always be
           able to meet

        -   it has found itself engaged primarily in operational tasks related
            to delivery and with little time to think about the bigger picture or
            the longer-term strategy

        -   in attempting to do many things itself, it has constrained what it
            is able to achieve and limited its reach

        -   it has had limited time to seek out new or additional resources,
            particularly for programme development, and has therefore
            found itself running a similar programme each year with the
            danger that the programme becomes predictable and “tired”

        -   it has put itself in the firing line, creating a dependency culture in
            which the community acknowledges what has been achieved
            but is also ready to bite the hand that feeds it.

                              Page 348
  3. Realising that it could not sustain all that it had set itself to do on its
     own, the Council recently “commissioned” Apex Arts to take on a
     number of responsibilities and areas of work which it had hitherto dealt
     with itself e.g. management of small grants. In doing so, it has passed
     on some of the difficulties described above – severely limited resources
     and a very wide-ranging brief; criticism from some areas of the arts
     community because it cannot do all that they would wish it to and the
     grants distributed are too small to justify the administration involved. In
     many ways Apex Arts is neither fish nor fowl, an independent
     organisation that seeks to lobby and influence the Council on behalf of
     the arts community at the same time as dependent on it for resources,
     implementing a programme of work heavily prescribed and in part
     staffed directly by it.

  4. Add to this the wider context of recent years where Cultural Services
     has needed to introduce a number of new staff and systems into its
     work; create a new-style sports and leisure service; review and up-
     grade its library provision; manage the changes - and the vigorous
     responses to the changes - at the William Morris Gallery; undergo
     several inspections, audits and an efficiency review; play its part in a
     host of Council-wide policy initiatives; contribute to the development of
     the successful first stage bid for the redevelopment of Lloyd Park and
     prepare the Heritage Lottery Fund Stage 1 bid for the extension and
     enhancement of the William Morris Gallery; position itself for London
     2012 with its neighbouring Olympic boroughs… and it becomes easier
     to see why the Council has not yet given the wider arts and cultural
     agenda the attention it deserves.

  5. Waltham Forest has a committed and hard-working team, determined
     to achieve the very best for the Borough and its residents in terms of
     arts and culture. It has delivered an enormous amount in less than
     easy circumstances. Now is the time to take a step back and think
     about doing things a bit differently. It is time for the team to punch
     above its weight with the leadership and full support of the Council’s
     elected members and its executive, the involvement of the arts and
     cultural community in the Borough and with partners across London.

6. Strategy 2020

  A Realistic Horizon

  1. A serious and ambitious cultural strategy, starting from a relatively low
     base of provision, will of necessity be long-range. Some things will
     simply take time. Although there can certainly be some high impact
     “quick wins”, thinking what the arts and cultural life of the Borough
     would look like in 2020, with 2012 as the first key staging post, is

                                  Page 349
   probably realistic. As well as forming part of the Sustainable
   Community Strategy with its long-range vision, the Arts and Cultural
   Strategy could benefit from the attention of the Local Strategic
   Partnership, providing valuable shared expertise and resources to
   ensure effective implementation.

New Forms of Delivery

2. Over the next three years the Council should consider gradually
   disengaging from direct management and direct provision and instead
   concentrate on enabling or commissioning others to do the work with a
   view to achieving a greater overall impact. It should think about
   programming not so much as putting on events itself but rather
   enabling others to do so, supporting locally-based work with advice,
   funding, training, business development opportunities and promotion;
   encouraging new work to come into the Borough for one-off events,
   series of performances or special projects; and co-ordinating and
   marketing the widest possible range of quality opportunities to enjoy
   and take part in the arts, amateur and professional, home-grown and of
   national or international standing.

3. It would be good to see, for example, a marketing strategy for a co-
   ordinated programme of music events and activities in the Borough
   covering a mix of culturally diverse, classical, contemporary, choral,
   and commercial forms, supported by information about music clubs
   and societies, the work of the Council’s music services, music
   production facilities and places to find music in neighbouring boroughs
   such as Ocean in Hackney, Jazz Café in Camden, Barbican. A similar
   approach could be adopted for other art forms and areas of activity.

4. This is not something that can happen suddenly; it will need a carefully
   managed transition programme. The aim is to strengthen existing
   activity, both in itself and by adding new things to the mix, rather than
   to call its future into question. Existing activity may need to change and
   develop along the way but the idea would be to replace dependency
   with a more mature relationship, a simple funding agreement perhaps
   or eventual self-sufficiency.

5. It is unlikely that it would make sense to withdraw from direct
   management of the William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum
   at the present time but it will be important to build on the capacity and
   capabilities of the Friends and Trustees to ensure that the Gallery and
   Museum benefit from the widest possible range of skills and
   experience, particularly in strategic development, fund-raising and

6. It seems sensible for the Council to continue to manage the Assembly
   Halls but with a pro-active, flexible and imaginative booking structure
   that would allow it to encourage certain types of activity as part of its
   overall arts and cultural strategy at the same time as getting best use

                            Page 350
   and maximum value for money out of these important resources.
   Further capital investment in both Halls would be beneficial to support
   this and, in particular, front of house development at the Walthamstow
   Assembly Hall and backstage facilities at the Chingford Assembly Hall
   to bring them up to the same standard as the other refurbished areas.

Consultation and Intelligence Gathering

7. There is a need to build up strong, reliable intelligence on
   which to base strategy formation, refining the existing knowledge base
   and making it more useful for the task in relation to arts and cultural
   provision. Several things would be useful here. First a better
   understanding of what residents’ experience and behaviour patterns
   currently are in relation to arts and cultural activity, how they vary
   across the Borough and why. To what extent do residents actually take
   advantage of current provision both within and outside the Borough?
   Do they, for example, travel to Theatre Royal, Stratford East, and if not,
   why not? Is it because of cost, transport, programme, interest or for
   other reasons? Some information exists in relation to directly-managed
   activities in the Borough through the Residents Panel Survey and feed-
   back from visitors but there does not seem to be a comprehensive
   understanding, based on regular and systematic data collection. This
   may be an exercise which Audiences London would be able to help
   with through their Knowledge Bank and CultureMap London.

8. Second, a better understanding of residents’ perceptions, ideas and
   aspirations in relation to arts and cultural activity. Again there does not
   seem to have been any Borough-wide attempt to involve residents in
   setting the agenda for the development of the arts and culture,
   including those who do not participate at present.

9. Thirdly it would be good to see a stock-take or audit of all spaces
   currently available for arts and cultural use in the Borough - their scale,
   equipment and facilities, management, current use, state of repair and
   potential for development – with a view to promoting availability and
   encouraging activity.

10. Finally, it would be useful to carry out an audit of all arts and cultural
    provision in the Borough, amateur and professional, whether supported
    by the Council or not, with information about programme and
    participation, to help inform strategic development and encourage
    participation. This information should be maintained by the Council and
    should include full and up-to-date contact details.

An Entitlement Model

11. Equally important is a clear agreement and articulation of what
   residents might reasonably expect or be encouraged to expect. This
   will help shape strategy, guide investment and facilitate useful
   monitoring and evaluation.

                                 Page 351
12. In terms of education provision, it is relatively straightforward to begin
    to define an entitlement model for all young people up to the age of 16
    (even though everyone might not agree!) as the Find Your Talent
    process indicates:

       -   a set number of hours within the curriculum
       -   the opportunity to visit a gallery or see a live performance to
           experience high quality work first hand
       -   the opportunity to engage in creative activity, in making, playing,
           performing or writing a piece of work
       -   the opportunity to develop the skills required to create work to
           an agreed standard
       -   the opportunity to debate and discuss, developing a critical
           vocabulary about the work of others
       -   the opportunity to understand the historic and cultural context in
           which work has been created and the factors that shape it.

13. For adults it is rather more complex but no less important. Should all
   residents in Waltham Forest, for example, have a right to expect:

       -   the Council to take the provision of arts and cultural facilities no
           less seriously than it does other forms of public provision

       -   a range of high quality opportunities to enjoy and take part in
           arts and cultural events within the Borough

       -   provision that is culturally diverse, accessible and supported by
           opportunities for learning and personal development

       -   training possibilities and job opportunities in the arts and
           creative industries

       -   regular information about what is on offer or where to find it?

   It is relatively easy to state what the Council intends to provide
   (although again everyone may not agree); it is harder to define what
   people have a right to expect. Answering this question first could
   provide the focus needed for developing the cultural strategy and
   getting “buy in” from across all areas of the Council’s work.

14. The key outcomes of a cultural strategy are not the buildings, facilities,
   projects and activities but the quality and nature of people’s experience
   and its impact on their lives. It is one thing to have a state-of-the-art
   theatre, for example, within 30 minutes reach by public transport; it is
   another to have a theatre which is welcoming, accessible and friendly,
   where you feel you can pop in for a drink to meet friends, where there
   is always something interesting going on; where the kids know some of
   the actors from work they have been doing in schools or from being
   members of the Youth Workshop; where the programme seems to

                             Page 352
      relate to the lives and concerns of the local community, even when you
      didn’t expect it to and even if it is a bit further away from home.

   Creating Cultural Hubs

   15. This is not a new term. It has been used by Museums, Libraries and
       Archives as part of its regional development policy and by the London
       Development Agency in relation to the creative industries. It means
       focussing human, physical and intellectual or creative capital in specific
       areas with a brief to act as a resource for a wider grouping or
       community. By the judicious and strategic development of “hubs” of
       activity, it is hoped that greater reach and engagement can be
       achieved and resources effectively deployed.

   16. It is useful here because of the distinctive spatial and political structure
       of the Borough – a long thin corridor cut across by physical and
       conceptual dividing lines. It is also through the potential of cultural hubs
       that the different interdependent strands of strategy in the next section
       can come together and be realised.

   17. It is proposed that creative hubs should be developed in the north,
       centre and south of the Borough and as an integral part of the
       Council’s priority regeneration areas. In practice this would mean
       Chingford, Walthamstow Town Centre, Blackhorse Lane, and the
       Northern Olympic Fringe, including Leyton, with the possible addition of
       key developments around Walthamstow Town Hall/Forest Road
       Campus and Leytonstone.

7. Key Strategies

These key strategies should be considered in parallel with the key themes in
Section 8 as they are intended to feed into each other. They are the weft and
weave of a possible cultural strategy, each supporting or “lifting” the other.

Children and Young People

   1. There are 61 primary, 17 secondary and 5 special schools in Waltham
      Forest along with three colleges – Waltham Forest College, Leyton 6th
      Form College and Sir George Monoux 6th Form College. Chingford
      Foundation School has recently been awarded specialist status in the
      arts and humanities.

   2. Within the Council, Music Services, which provides a range of activities
      from instrumental tuition to concerts for schools, recently moved from
      the Arts and Events team to Children’s Services. On a broader front, an
      intervention contract with EduAction ended on 31st March this year and
      a new School Innovation and Improvement Partnership was launched
      with VT (Education and Skills)

                                    Page 353
3. There is a natural reluctance to overload this new arrangement with
   targets. However it is also clear that work with education and young
   people will be key to the development of vibrant arts and cultural
   provision in the Borough and an agreement about what can be
   achieved jointly between Cultural and Leisure Services and Children’s
   Services will be essential to drawing up plans for the future

4. It is a pity that the early engagement with the Arts Council’s Creative
   Services programme, designed to find ways of using the arts and
   creativity to help local authority Children’s Services meet their priorities
   for young people and ensuring that artists and arts organisations are
   involved, does not seem to have taken root. Equally the Creative
   Partnership work with schools in the Borough appears to have had
   limited impact and legacy.

5. There is some exciting work going on, such as that with artist Zarah
   Hussain and others in relation to the William Morris Gallery and under
   the inspiring “Fellowship is Life” programme organised by the Arts and
   Events team but to date this work has been patchy and sporadic. It is
   proposed that a sustained and cohesive approach is taken to
   developing links between artists, arts organisations and education in
   the Borough with a view to enriching the curriculum, extending creative
   opportunities for artists, developing future life/work skills and drawing in
   parents and the wider community. It would certainly be worth
   approaching the Arts Council with a proposal under its new Grants for
   the Arts scheme as some other local authorities are doing.

6. It is recommended that the work invested in the Find Your Talent bid is
   used as the underpinning for this, albeit in a more modest form initially,
   and that a clear entitlement model for young people in arts and culture
   is discussed and agreed. The formation of a Steering Group with
   members from within and outside the Borough could oversee planning
   and preparation, launch and implementation, monitoring and
   evaluation, and offer advice as required.

7. It is recommended that the sports organisational model is adopted and
   that three part-time Arts Education Managers are appointed to lead,
   support and develop arts education partnership work, one in Chingford,
   one in Walthamstow and one in the South of the Borough (with the
   cultural hubs). These postholders might be secondments from schools
   or arts organisations and they would work closely with the Steering
   Group and with Culture and Leisure Services and Children’s Services.
   A senior member of staff would need to be given lead responsibility for
   the scheme.

8. Headteachers will be essential and drawing them together, grouped
   around the cultural hubs, to discuss what is possible and how best to
   move forward with their support and involvement will be an important
   part of this initiative. Equally important will be the provision of teacher
   support and development and CLASS would be an excellent starting

                             Page 354
     point for planning and delivering this if it is not possible within the terms
     of the School Innovation and Improvement Partnership.

  9. Waltham Forest’s population is young and diverse with more than 30
     per cent under the age of 20. This is higher than the average for outer
     London boroughs and increasing.The involvement of young people in
     planning the scheme will be vital and Waltham Forest’s innovative
     practice in introducing the Young Adviser’s Scheme, the Young Voices
     Panel and the young people’s website will be invaluable.

  10. It will also be important to work in parallel with the Integrated Youth
     Service and the Youth Offending Team to ensure there are inspiring
     opportunities for young people outside formal education and that the
     experience of places such as the Outset Youth Centre and the East
     London Drama and Music Centre in Draper’s Field, where creative
     work is already well established, can feed in to this development.

  11. Actively encouraging use of the Arts Award Scheme by schools,
     colleges and youth centres will provide an added dimension and useful

  12. Finally, and most importantly, Waltham Forest is currently planning the
     investment of £300 million in the physical infrastructure of its schools
     under the Building Schools for the Future scheme. This represents a
     very important opportunity to develop facilities for arts and cultural
     activity for young people and the wider community, and to consider
     imaginative mixed use schemes with arts education organisations. The
     first wave in Walthamstow is now well under way. Sports are closely
     involved in planning but it is less clear how the arts agenda is being
     carried forward. Early discussion on the outline plans for schools in
     Leyton and Leytonstone and an arts strategy for the second wave are
     essential if a major opportunity to build for the cultural future is not to
     be missed.

Commissioning and Collaboration

  1. Commissioning and collaboration form a part of the Council’s strategy
     and practice at present but it would be worth considering
     commissioning, or working in partnership, with one or more major arts
     organisations with an international profile and remit to create a series
     of large-scale, iconic and memorable projects, one each year in the run
     up to London 2012, involving large numbers of local people. There are
     a few highly regarded companies who create work, often spectacular
     and large-scale, outdoors or in unusual places, site specific work which
     responds to the nature of the place in some way and involves the
     people who live there. They are artist-led in their approach but also
     relish the process of working with groups or communities and put
     innovative forms of education at the heart of what they do. They work

                                   Page 355
   in an international context and, to use Continental Drifts’ term, are
   global/local in their perspective.

2. Artangel has “pioneered a new way of collaborating with artists and
   engaging artists with a reputation for producing work that people really
   want to see and for which they travel miles to experience.” Their
   projects include Rachel Whiteread’s House in Grove Road E3; Jeremy
   Deller’s re-enactment of the Battle of Orgreave in South Yorkshire,
   filmed by Channel 4; Jem Filer’s Longplayer, a piece of music
   commissioned to mark the Millennium and designed to play for a
   thousand years, currently in a lighthouse in Trinity Buoy Wharf; and
   Breakdown which took place in an empty C&A Department store in
   Oxford Street where artist, Michael Landry, having made an inventory
   of everything he owned, gathered all his possessions together and
   systematically destroyed them over a period of several days.

3. Artichoke is a company formed by Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb
   and it was they who brought theatrical magicians Royal de Luxe and
   The Sultan’s Elephant to London a couple of years ago. Helen set up
   the arts and events programme at Canary Wharf and was Artistic
   Director of Salisbury Festival for several years where she
   commissioned an artist to burn a huge picture of a tiger in stubble on a
   corn field which could only really be viewed from the sky.

4. Starting in 1981 as the London Festival of International Theatre, LIFT
   has over the past 20 years presented ground-breaking events and
   festivals to audiences of over 800,000 with 300 international premieres
   from 60 countries. During this time it has built a strong profile as a
   pioneer within the cultural sector at the cutting edge of innovation. Its
   work brings together communities, audiences and international artists
   in a number of different contexts and involves presenting
   performances, talks, feasts, film and festivals, exploring themes such
   as climate change, migration and identity, with a fully designed training
   programme aimed at local people and in particular young people living
   in the areas that LIFT visits. It was recently at Stratford Park and then
   the Southbank Centre with its huge new mobile venue and meeting
   place. It is currently looking to develop street-based work in areas of
   deprivation with special funding.

5. Akademi is a cutting edge, progressive organisation with an
   international outlook. It works to enhance the practice, understanding
   and appreciation of South Asian Dance and is committed to excellence
   in training, education and community work. Its projects are often site
   specific and involve large-scale spectacle. Akademi recently created a
   theatrical collaborative spectacle with dance, scuplture and aerial work
   for the Trafalgar Square Festival.

6. Entering into a dialogue with companies such as these, inviting them to
   come and see some of the large sites in Waltham Forest - Lloyd Park,
   Town Hall/Forest Road, Hackney Marshes/Lea Valley - could trigger

                            Page 356
      exciting ideas. Work such as this would not naturally emerge out of
      consultation with the community. It is challenging, curious, edgy and
      surprising. It captures the imagination and causes those who engage
      with it to draw breath, to question and to wonder. It requires vision and
      creative courage but, when it works well, it brings large communities
      together whilst attracting others from far and wide to find out more
      about what’s going on. Projects would require careful preparation and
      fund-raising but that would then become a shared enterprise.

   7. Having a limited number of Arts Council regularly funded organisations
      in the Borough means that it can be more difficult to attract funds. A
      double whammy! This makes it more important to find productive ways
      to collaborate with RFOs as ACE’s policy is to give increases to
      existing clients in the expectation that they will extend their reach and,
      in some cases, act as a local resource. So Continental Drifts,
      Masquerade (in Waltham Forest) and Spread the Word, East London
      Dance, LSO St Luke’s, Barbican, Stratford East and the Roundhouse
      (outside Waltham Forest) are just some important potential partners.
      Working with neighbouring boroughs to create large-scale shared
      festival work for East London could also enhance capacity and enrich
      programming and the Five Borough’s Festival Guide for 2008 is a
      major step towards that as is the Create 08 Art Award.

Capacity Building

   1. Continuing to strengthen the local arts and cultural infrastructure
      through funding and capacity building will need to remain a priority.
      Training and development in arts and events management has been
      included in the funding agreement with Apex Arts. Setting up a small
      business development unit for the arts, which could offer mentoring,
      placements, start-up advice, guidance on business planning and short
      courses, might be a natural next step. This could usefully be discussed
      with CLASS, Waltham Forest College, Learning Skills Council and
      potential local sponsors.

Cultural Regeneration

   1. The arts and culture cannot be added on at the end of regeneration
      schemes. They are not the icing on the cake. To contribute effectively
      they need to be in on the act from the start. Indeed there are many
      examples of cultural development acting as the driver for wider
      regeneration schemes, attracting business, retail, hotels, cafes, bars
      and new residents with money to spend. Artists and arts organisations
      act as the pioneers, moving into an area because living and working
      are affordable, their profile and creativity acting as a spur to wider
      investment and a boost to day and night-time economies, then
      sometimes finding themselves in turn priced out of an area.

                                   Page 357
2. Waltham Forest is currently benefiting from this cycle as a steady
   trickle of creative practitioners are being attracted to the Borough to
   find homes and set up studios. The Council needs to nurture this by
   offering incentives in terms of, for example, discounts on rates for
   those who can contribute to its cultural strategy or by identifying
   appropriate available stock, e.g. unused warehouses, lock ups,
   garages and actively promoting them as affordable studio space. The
   review of artists’ studio space, recently commissioned by the five
   Olympic boroughs in the context of the possible impact, both positive
   and negative, of the development of the Olympic Park, will provide
   valuable information for the Council. It would also be useful to enter
   into discussion with Space Studios and/or ACME to get a specialist

3. The development of cultural hubs – partnerships or groupings of artists,
   arts organisations, educators and community groups, focussed in and
   around regeneration priority areas, will help to formalise the dialogue
   between Council, planners, developers and the arts and cultural
   community, to identify and grasp opportunities at the appropriate
   moment. There needs to be the closest possible working relationship
   between Cultural and Leisure Services and Environmental and
   Regeneration Services to facilitate this. A joint plan should be
   developed for cultural regeneration which makes full use of the
   potential offered by the Council’s Section 106 strategy and includes
   both green spaces and the built environment. This needs to be
   integrated with developments made possible by the second wave of
   Building Schools for the Future.

4. Possible capital developments that could enhance and facilitate arts
   and cultural provision are outlined here. These need careful discussion
   with those with more detailed knowledge of the opportunities and
   constraints in the Borough and would be need to be the subject of
   detailed options appraisal and feasibility studies. Some are already
   being actively considered.

      •   Well-designed and fit-for-purpose space for
          temporary/contemporary exhibitions and related education work
          at the William Morris Gallery or within the Lloyd Park
          development. This could be linked to studio space for resident
          artists, both at the Gallery but also in the area at the Western
          end of the High Street in Walthamstow Town Centre within the
          redevelopment of Mission Grove School, the proposed Courtney
          Place live/work units or the small business units nearby. (Key
          Theme: Arts of Living)

      •   A grouping of music production and other creative industry
          studios, designed with the commercial sector and the
          development of work skills and employment opportunities for
          young people in mind. This might also include the Business
          Development Unit for the arts and cultural sector mentioned

                           Page 358
    above and be sited within the Blackhorse Lane development. It
    could also incorporate the existing creative industries units
    established at the Outset Youth Centre. It would need to be
    considered alongside the proposal to “encourage provision of a
    similar venue” to the music venue, The Standard, in the context
    of the Blackhorse Lane regeneration programme. The other hub
    for music provision would be the Walthamstow Assembly Hall
    and the Chingford Hall (Key Theme: Digital Media and the
    Creative Industries)

•   The development of studio provision for film-makers and a small
    screen performance space for showing new and experimental
    cinema work, for talks, discussions and workshops, to
    complement the planned commercial cinema development and
    BBC Live-Site within the Walthamstow town centre square and
    shopping centre. This might be sited in central Walthamstow
    street-facing accommodation and include a specially designed
    exhibition on the history of film and film-making in the Borough
    and education facilities for all ages. Discussions with the London
    Film School would timely as it is understood that they are
    looking to develop and enhance their facilities. Student activity
    would give an added boost to the life and economy of the town
    (Key Theme: Digital Media and the Creative Industries)

•   Possible facilities for dance and physical/movement participation
    and performance within the development of the Northern
    Olympic Fringe area. This could be incorporated in an
    imaginative way alongside, and with shared use of, sports and
    health facilities and would provide a cultural hub for a dance and
    movement strategy involving the Council’s leisure centres
    across the Borough. State of-the art sport and related health
    facilities e.g massage, movement injury, could be included and
    serve both dance and sports (Key Theme: Arts, Health and

•   There is also a perceived need for a mixed use, flexible theatre
    and performance space within the South of the Borough, with
    related education and community spaces (particularly once the
    Lloyd Park Theatre has gone) with a seating capacity of
    between 150 and 350. This would complement and be part of a
    more proactive programming policy for locally based and
    incoming professional theatre and performance work in the
    Chingford Hall. It needs a specialist detailed feasibility study,
    including market analysis and discussion with potential user-
    groups/stakeholders, in order to decide where such a
    development might be sited, if it is viable and how it might relate
    to other forms of theatre/performance provision in neighbouring
    boroughs (Key Theme: Performance, People and Places)

                          Page 359
  5. Developing opportunities for the showing and sale of the work of the
     Borough’s artists and practitioners forms an important part of cultural
     regeneration and can be done, as is already happening in some
     places, through existing retail outlets. It would be good to see the work
     of local artists and craftspeople as a regular part of the Walthamstow
     Street Market for example and a more concerted and consistent
     strategy for the use of shops, including those which are currently
     closed down or between use, for this purpose. This could be usefully
     discussed with Local Business Forums and as part of Local Strategic
     Partnership work. Libraries are already being used effectively in this
     way but this strategy may need specific visual arts curatorship.

  6. Extending the commissioning of Art in Public Places will be another
     way in which the arts can make a significant contribution to the
     environment and regeneration (Langthorne Park is a good example)
     but this also needs a more concerted strategy, visual arts curatorship
     and to be built in at early concept stage in terms of regeneration plans.

  7. Finally, it would be worth considering the imaginative use of temporary
     structures for the arts over the next few years as more permanent
     facilities are considered, planned and built. LIFT’s new mobile space is
     an obvious possibility, bringing with it international theatre practitioners,
     festival programming, education work and all related facilities. LIFT are
     particularly keen to see this used as a way to enable inner city cultural
     organisations and Councils to extend and promote their cultural offer.
     Discussion with the Serpentine about their annual architect-designed
     marquee or with the Frieze Art Fair organisers about a mini-Frieze
     would also be worth pursuing.

Cultural Tourism

  1. The gradual development of a cultural tourism strategy, attracting
     visitors into the Borough for cultural and related activity, is another
     important way to support arts and cultural development and boost the
     economy. It requires a clear branding for the Borough, based on its
     unique selling points, and integrated consideration of transport,
     parking, accommodation and other facilities. The initial focus for this
     should clearly be the William Morris Gallery and related activities, the
     Borough as the home of the arts and crafts movement. Discussions
     with MLA London; Visit London; Audiences London; Kelmscott Manor
     and the National Trust would all be helpful here and it is understood
     that these are already taking place. In time film and film-making and
     the major artist-led commissions, suggested in Commissioning and
     Collaboration above, could also provide the magnet and the profile

  2. A valuable report was commissioned by the Borough in November
     2007 from ABL Consulting and Heritage Retailing as the basis of an
     Income Generation Plan for the William Morris Gallery and Vestry
     House Museum. It assessed the commercial potential of existing

                               Page 360
    assets and highlighted possible funding sources, both commercial and
    non-commercial. Strategies such as these will be key contributors to
    cultural regeneration and cultural tourism in the Borough by attracting
    inward investment from multiple sources.

8. Key Themes

1. These themes are intended to act as conceptual threads running
through the more strategic issues in this review. They are deliberately
sketchy as ideas need ownership within the Borough’s creative community
and they may have better ideas. However it is hoped that they will form a
useful basis for discussion and will be illustrative of the kind of creative
thinking that needs to shape and inform strategy and action. They are
driven by issues specific to the physical, historical or demographic nature
of the Borough. In each case some possible partners are identified.

•   The Arts of Living

This theme would focus around the arts and crafts movement and the
Borough as the home of William Morris, his life, practice and philosophy. It
would build on the excellent Fellowship is Life arts and education
programme already underway but with a particular emphasis on exploring
design in/for the home and in shops, two urban characteristics of the
Borough. It could involve exhibitions, arts education projects, artists in
residence and open studios, contemporary makers, designers and
architects, contemporary figures such as Terence Conran and Philippe
Starke, social history and design education, student placements, projects
and research, and young apprentices. It could culminate in young people
setting up their own “shop”, an event in the high street with objects for their
homes as they would like them to be.

Possible Partners: V & A, Royal College of Art, National Trust, Kelmscott
Manor, Homebase or B & Q, Heal’s, British Furniture Manufacturers
Association, Worshipful Company of Furniture-Makers, RIBA, Crafts
Council, Design Council, Barbican Arts Trust, E17 Arts Trail, Inky
Cuttlefish, local shops and retailers…

Cultural Hub: William Morris Gallery, Vestry House Museum/Walthamstow
Village, Walthamstow Town Centre

•   Digital Media and the Creative Industries

As well as an above average young and diverse population, Waltham
Forest is tackling issues of unemployment and benefit dependency in
some areas as well as seeking to better match skills levels to the demands
of London’s changing economy.

                                 Page 361
It is the home of Alfred Hitchcock and now has a number of young film-
makers living and working in the Borough. It is also home to many
musicians who have made it in the UK charts, including East 17 and Blazin
Squad. It is one of two London boroughs which introduced the genre
“grime” to the music scene with acts such as More Fire Crew, Lethal
Bizzle, Neeko, Jammer and Ozzie B.

There have already been some initiatives to support creative businesses
and to develop skills and job opportunities in the creative sector, most
notably at the Outset Youth Centre. This theme would develop that work
through the establishment of music production and small creative business
development facilities in the Blackhorse Lane area and the development of
film production studios and screening facilities in Walthamstow Town

Possible Partners: Local filmmakers, London Film School, Learning Skills
Council, Four Greens in Haringey, Music Services, Youth Music Action
Zones in Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets, CLASS, Youth and
Music, Sound Connections, Raw Material, Serious, Roundhouse in
Camden, LSO St Luke’s, Forest Philharmonic

Cultural Hubs: Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow Town Hall/Forest Road
campus, Walthamstow Town Centre,

•   Cultural Connections

This theme would be concerned to develop a global perspective and an
international dimension to all aspects of the cultural strategy. The potential
for international work is brilliantly articulated in the Fellowship of Life arts
education programme and provides a model for how this might be
approached. It is also clear in the proposals suggested in the
Commissioning and Collaboration section of this Review.

Potential Partners: LIFT, Artangel, Artichoke, Akademi, WOMAD,
Continental Drifts, countries around the globe

•   People, Places and Performance

This theme would be concerned with creating extraordinary performances
– theatre, literature, music, dance, festivals, celebrations - in extraordinary
places, from children’s devised work to incoming professional companies;
indoors and outdoors; large, medium and small scale. It would build on the
festivals and performance work that happens at the moment – from the
Mela to the Gang Show – and develop into a year round programme of
diverse and exciting work for all ages and communities supported by
ground-breaking education work.

The siting of a new mixed use performance space would be important to
this theme as would the imaginative and flexible use of the Chingford Hall.

                             Page 362
     Possible Partners: Theatre Royal, Stratford East; Hackney Empire, Spread
     the Word, Akademi, LIFT, Artichoke, Forest Philharmonic

     Cultural Hubs: North of the Borough, Chingford and others.

     •   Arts, Health and Happiness

     Waltham Forest is tackling healthy living issues and deprivation,
     particularly in some parts of the South of the Borough where life
     expectancy is as much as five years less than that in the North. This
     theme would focus on the arts as a valuable contributor to health and well-
     being, both physical health through dance and movement in particular, and
     also mental health through arts therapy and palliative care as well the arts’
     broader contribution to the health of the spirits and the imagination.

     Waltham Forest is already part of the Well London initiative and has a
     number of individuals and organisations interested or involved in arts and
     health issues. It is also home to Whipp’s Cross Hospital. This theme would
     rely on integrated practice with leisure and sports in the Borough and
     would make use of the network of Leisure Centres with their dance and
     movement facilities. It would also involve close working relationships with
     the NHS, care homes and residential centres.

     Possible Partners: Borough’s Leisure Centres, Whipp’s Cross Hospital,
     London Arts and Health Forum, East London Dance Agency, Circus
     Space in Hoxton, The Place in Camden, Sadler’s Wells in Islington, Laban
     Centre in Deptford…

     Cultural Hub: Northern Olympic Fringe, Leyton

9. Operational Issues

Marketing and Communications

1.       Sadly criticism from local press, sometimes fuelled by members of the
         arts and cultural community, has lead to a rather inward-looking focus
         and a risk averse culture with valuable time and energy spent on
         campaigning and defending positions rather than on looking outwards
         and forward. It is not the place here to comment on specifics. However
         a line needs to be drawn under past controversy and Council and
         community need to work closely together to set and achieve jointly
         agreed, realistic aspirations. There is little to lose and everything to be

     3. Clear, positive, open and regular communication will be the key –
        across the Council, with the community and with the press. There is a
        need for a robust and pro-active marketing and communications
        strategy/action plan, jointly agreed and implemented by Cultural and
        Leisure Services and Corporate Communications. There are many
        good stories to tell and the possibility of many more to come.

                                      Page 363
  4. The arts and culture need weighty and compelling champions, both
     across the Council and the community. The obvious interest and
     commitment of the current interim Chief Executive and the Cabinet
     member with responsibility for culture has done much to strengthen
     relationships and encourage creative thinking as well as to celebrate
     achievements. There are a number of high profile arts and media
     practitioners who live in or have links with the Borough and it would
     useful to nurture these.

  5. Work needs to be done to create a strong, cohesive and expanding
     arts and cultural community with a shared sense of purpose. Many
     artists and practitioners feel that they work in relative isolation and
     would welcome more informal, networking events and exchanges of
     information and ideas, in addition to the more formal consultation
     meetings that already take place.

Investment and Fund-raising

  1. Inevitably, if significantly more is to be achieved, then new resources
     need to be found. But ideas and ambition, backed by proven viability
     and detailed planning, can generate additional support.

  2. An appropriate investment strategy would rely on achieving matching
     funding for additional expenditure from external sources (either to
     create a neutral net position or to further increase expenditure).
     Sources of additional support might be the London Development
     Agency, Arts Council, Trusts and Foundations, Sponsors. A robust
     fund-raising strategy is needed with the time and expertise to
     implement it. Again the work of ABL Consulting will be useful here.

  3. It will also be necessary to agree priorities for capital expenditure within
     the context of agreed regeneration initiatives and incorporate within the
     Council’s Section 106 Strategy and its Building Schools for the Future

  4. Funding for artists and arts organisations should be targeted towards
     achieving the Council’s agreed strategic objectives and offered as
     strategic development or capacity building support.

Structure and Governance

  1. It would probably be a mistake to think that changing structure within
     Cultural and Leisure Services will achieve change and development.
     There have already been a number of structural changes and it could
     unsettle and hold back development rather than facilitate it. It is,
     however, important that staff are encouraged/required to make strong
     and productive links across the Council and externally.

                              Page 364
  2. Managing the transition from current practice to any new ways of
     working that are agreed within the cultural strategy will be tricky and a
     careful transition plan will be needed that maintains existing provision
     whilst developing new patterns of practice. It will require strong
     leadership, a staff development strategy and augmentation of staff
     resources in key areas such as education and fund-raising.

  3. The Cultural Strategy will require joined up planning and action across
     the Council and a firm place in its core priorities. For this reason, and in
     order to help manage transition, it is suggested that a fixed-term post of
     Associate Director (Arts and Culture) is created at executive level to
     work with the Culture and Leisure team, across the Council and
     externally to assist in working towards the implementation of the new

  4. This may also be a good moment to discuss with Apex Arts the nature
     of its future role and relationship to the Council. The relationship has
     greatly improved but remains ambiguous in a number of ways. A more
     streamlined Agreement between Council and Apex Arts, with fewer
     delegated tasks and more clear targets in terms of the numbers of
     individuals reached or the amount of funding generated, might be the
     way forward. Alternatively Apex Arts could become a simple Advisory
     Group to the Council on strategic issues and on the investment of
     strategic development funds.

  5. Now could be the time to consider developing a strong and
     independent Arts and Cultural Development Agency with a brief to
     contribute to economic development and community regeneration
     through clear inward investment targets for the Borough. In order to
     achieve a viable model, able to work on the scale and with the
     influence required, such an agency would need to be supported by the
     London Development Agency and may work better as a cross-Borough
     initiative in East London. Its feasibility would require careful
     examination with a draft five year business plan and an outline
     governance structure. This would only be of value if the Council does
     not wish to develop its own programme of work directly from within the
     council with the appropriate staffing and resources.

Skills, Competences and Capacity

  1. A strategy such as the one outlined in this report would make
     considerable demands on a relatively small team and inevitably a staff
     development programme, including some additional staffing in key
     areas, will be required. Priorities for development include leadership
     and advocacy, long-range strategic planning and development,
     programming and promotion (visual arts and performance), arts
     education planning and development, networking and external
     relations, managing partnerships, fund-raising and making successful

                                   Page 365
  2. In addition to the short-term post of Associate Director (Arts and
     Culture) recommended above, three part-time Arts Education
     Managers have been proposed in the Key Strategies section for
     Children and Young People. Other staffing adjustments/additions
     would be required if the Council were to adopt a cultural policy of the
     kind suggested here.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. Once policy and strategy have been agreed and clear targets set, it will
     be important to develop strong processes for evaluation, impact
     assessment and monitoring. Recommendations are included in the
     Summary below.

10. Summary of Recommendations

  Strategy 2020

  •   Define and agree an entitlement model for arts and cultural policy for
      all residents in the Borough, starting with young people, to shape
      strategic action and guide investment

  •   Articulate a bold and ambitious long-term (2020) arts and cultural
      strategy - using this Review and the entitlement model as a starting
      point - working with the arts and cultural community, local people and
      London partners to set and achieve shared goals

  •   Set the arts and cultural strategy within the context of the Borough’s
      Sustainable Community Strategy, recognising the potential of the arts
      as a key tool for achieving the Council’s priorities and commitments

  A Realistic Horizon

  •   Incorporate the outcome of consideration of this Review in a revised 3
      year Service Plan (2009 -20012) which repositions the Council’s
      provision, building on existing strengths and introducing new ways of

  •   exploit the potential of the Local Strategic Partnership to help ensure
      effective implementation

  •   Ensure that London 2012 represents a marker for celebrating
      significant progress and achievement, and for launching a fully formed
      and ambitious longer-term set of plans

  •   Set the Council’s sights on 2020 as the year when arts and culture are
      seen to play a full role in achieving its aspirations for the Borough and
      its residents as set out in its Sustainable Community Strategy

                              Page 366
New Forms of Delivery

•   Gradually disengage from directly-managed and delivered provision –
    with the likely exception of existing buildings and building-based
    organisations i.e. the William Morris Gallery, Vestry House Museum
    and the Halls - and focus instead on facilitation, programming co-
    ordination and promotion, strategic development and funding, capacity
    building, commissioning and collaboration

Consultation and Intelligence Gathering

•   Carry out surveys/consultation exercise with local residents with a view
    to establishing current levels of engagement with the arts and culture,
    both within and outside the Borough; gathering views on priorities for
    development; informing strategy and target-setting; and raising
    awareness of the Council’s commitment to this area

•   Set clear targets for increasing public participation in the arts based on
    an analysis of current patterns of involvement

•   Carry out an audit of all spaces currently available for arts and cultural
    use with a view to promoting availability and encouraging activity

•   Carry out an audit of all arts and cultural provision in the Borough with
    a view to informing strategic development and promoting engagement

•   Establish and keep up-to-date a database of all arts and cultural
    contacts within the Borough

Creating cultural hubs

•   Create a network of “cultural hubs”, focussing on the north, centre and
    south of the Borough and on identified regeneration “hot spots”,
    developing human and capital infrastructure in these areas to stimulate
    and sustain arts and cultural activity across the Borough

Key Strategies

•   Focus development and investment around five key strategies (for
    recommendations and actions related to each, see detail in Section 7)

    Children and Young People

    Commissioning and Collaboration

    Capacity Building

    Cultural Regeneration

                                 Page 367
       Cultural Tourism

   Key Themes

   •   Intercut the five key strategies with five key themes (for
       recommendations and actions related to each, see detail in Section 8) :

       The Arts of Living

       Digital Media and the Creative Industries

       Cultural Connections

       People, Places and Performance

       Arts, Health and Happiness

Operational Issues

Marketing and Communications

   •   Draw up a robust and pro-active Marketing and Communications
       Strategy for arts and culture to be agreed, implemented and monitored
       jointly by Culture and Leisure Services and Corporate Communications

   •   Identify high profile or experienced arts and cultural “champions” within
       the Borough and nurture their active engagement and support in policy
       development, strategic thinking, fund-raising, profile-raising and

   •   Organise regular seminars and networking events for the arts and
       cultural community in the Borough, both formal and informal. These
       would be designed to:

          -    stimulate ideas and debate
          -    gather feedback
          -    signal up-coming issues or initiatives
          -    create a strong, cohesive and expanding group with a shared
               sense of purpose

   •   Write arts and culture more firmly into the Authority’s core script,
       ensuring that the Council’s commitment is reflected as appropriate in
       key policy and strategy documents, in publicity and promotion
       materials; and in speeches and general communications

   •   Fully exploit the opportunity offered by London 2012 and the Cultural
       Olympiad to promote the best of arts and cultural activity in the
       Borough and to reinforce the Council’s strategic aspirations for this
       area of work.

                               Page 368
Investment and Fund-Raising

•   Significantly increase the revenue investment in arts and cultural
    activity by 2012, in particular aiming to bring overall spending on
    museums and galleries, arts and events more nearly into line with that
    invested in libraries.

•   Set a target to match any additional investment with funds raised
    through increased external fund-raising/grant-aid to support priority
    initiatives in the Borough

•   Identify and agree priorities for capital funding within the context of key
    regeneration initiatives and incorporate within Section106 strategy and
    plans for Building Schools for the Future

•   Redefine criteria for funding in line with the Council’s key strategies
    and themes as fixed-term capacity building or strategic development

Structure and Governance

•   Consider the appointment of an Associate Director for Arts and Culture
    at Executive level for a fixed-term (one to three years) to:

       -    work with the arts and cultural team to reposition for the future;
       -    hold a roving brief across the Council to help ensure that arts
            and culture are fully integrated into its wider strategies and
            fulfilling their potential;
       -    work with the arts and cultural community and other agencies,
            in the Borough and in London, to develop ground-breaking
            projects, profile and partnerships

•   Develop more “joined up” thinking and joint strategic action between
    Culture and Leisure Services within Adult and Community Services and
    with other Directorates, in particular Environment and Regeneration,
    and Children and Young People’s Services

•   Review with Apex Arts its role and relationship with the Council, either
    focussing the Agreement with the Council more clearly on specific
    strategic targets or redefining its role as an Advisory Group for the
    Council’s arts and cultural services, considering and advising on
    strategy and on the use of capacity building or development funding.

•   Consider creating a strong and independent Arts and Cultural
    Development Agency, possibly on a cross-borough basis, with a
    specific brief for contributing to economic development and community
    regeneration through the arts.

Skills, Competences and Capacity

                                 Page 369
  •   Build on the skills, competences and experience developed through
      direct management of provision within the Arts and Cultural Services
      team to strengthen capacity for leadership and advocacy; long-range
      strategic planning; arts programming and promotion; arts educational
      planning and development; networking and external relations;
      managing partnerships; fund-raising and making successful grant

  Monitoring and Evaluation

  •   Create an agreed framework for evaluation of the Council’s arts and
      cultural strategy in relation to the entitlement model

  •   Create a robust method of impact assessment for the Council’s arts
      and cultural strategy and for on-going data collection and monitoring of
      progress in relation to targets

  •   Publish regular bulletins/information about progress and achievements,
      both within the Authority and the Borough more widely

11. Next Steps

1. Once the Council has had an opportunity to discuss and decide on its
   response to this Review, the next steps could be to:

  •   Place consideration of the Review’s recommendations on the agenda
      of the Local Strategic Partnership

  •   Hold a series of smaller seminars around specific strategies and
      themes as a way of moving towards strategy implementation e.g
      children and young people

  •   Draw up an outline cultural strategy based on the framework it offers or
      amended as a result of these further discussions

  •   Draw up an outline budget, with related fund-raising strategy, costing
      out new areas of staffing and activity, for discussion and decision

  •   Draw up an action plan with time scale based on the
      recommendations, including a detailed transition plan

  •   Meet with representatives of the Arts Council and the London
      Development Agency to get their views and seek their support.

12. Appendices

Appendix 1 Meetings and Consultation

                              Page 370
Meetings or telephone interviews were held with the following
individuals and organisations in addition to a number of more informal
contacts and site visits:

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cllr Geraldine Reardon, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Arts and Culture

Cllr Terry Wheeler, Cabinet Member for Enterprise and Investment

Cllr John Macklin, Cabinet Member for Service Modernisation

Roger Taylor, Interim Chief Executive

Kathryn Myers, Head of Corporate Communications

Satwant Pryce, Head of Policy and Partnerships

Michael Toyer, Sustainable Strategy Unit

Chris Kiernan, Executive Director, Children and Young People Services

Leora Cruddas, Head of Education for Community

Martin Esom, Executive Director, Environmental Services

Shifa Mustafa, Assistant Director of Development

Jon Widdows, Waltham Forest 2012 Team

Mimi Konigsberg, Executive Director, Adult and Community Services

Clive Morton, Head of Cultural and Leisure Services

Lorna Lee, Head of Libraries, Museums and Galleries

Joyce Guthrie, Interim Head of Sport and Leisure

Anne Perez, Head of Community Learning and Skills Service (CLASS)

Eamon O’Machail, Head of Arts, Events and Halls Service

Glen Watson, Events Officer

Sue Brown, Arts Development Officer

Apex Arts

Tim Bennett-Goodman, Chair

                                  Page 371
Arts and Other Organisations

Anna Alcock, Inky Cuttlefish

Chris MacMeikan, Continental Drifts

Laura Kerry and Cris Thompson, E17Art Trail

Lis Ellis, Tate Modern and local resident/ arts practitioner

Penny Fielding, Beautiful Interiors, Walthamstow Village

Zarah Hussain, artist

Nick Tiratsoo, Leytonstone Festival

Mark Wainwright, Barbican Arts Trust

External Agencies

Angela Law, Head of Resource Development, Arts Council London

Tara Lacomber, Arts Council London

Keith Khan, Director of Culture/Associate Artist, London 2012

LIFT at the South Bank: Event to celebrate new mobile theatre venue

Appendix 2 Documents and References

The following documents have informed or provided a context for this

Our Place in London: Waltham Forest’s Sustainable Community Strategy
July 2008

Future Waltham Forest. Richard Brown and Jonathan Rosenberg for the
London Borough of Waltham Forest and the Greater London Authority
March 2008

Waltham Forest Borough Council Income Generation Plan Final Report. ABL
Cultural Consulting. March 2008

Joint Agreement for Culture in Sustainable Communities: Communications
and Brand Strategy Linstock Communications for 2007

Blackhorse Lane: Fulfilling the Potential London Borough of Waltham Forest
October 2006

                                Page 372
The Vision for Walthamstow Town Centre London Borough of Waltham Forest
October 2007

Northern Olympic Fringe Masterplan Draft Brief. London Borough of Waltham
Forest and key partners March 2008

London Borough of Waltham Forest Culture and Leisure Services Service
Plan 2007 -2010 and 2008 – 2011

Culture in Waltham Forest: Our Strategies and Vision for 2006 -2012

It’s Happening Here and You are in the Front Row: Waltham Forest Host
Borough for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 2007

Values and Themes of the Cultural Olympiad London 2012 website

Contract/Funding Agreement between London Borough of Waltham Forest
and Waltham Forest Arts Council (now Apex Arts) May 2007

Regional Commentary on Cultural Services in the London Borough of
Waltham Forest January 2008 (Draft)

Cultural Services: London Borough of Waltham Forest Audit Commission
Service Inspection Report August 2007

London: A Cultural Audit London Development Agency 2008

An Economic Update: The Creative Industries Sam Weiss, Economic
Research Officer, London Borough of Waltham Forest April 2005

Find Your Talent Guidelines for Expressions of Interest. Creative
Partnerships, Arts Council England 2008

A Passion for Excellence: An Improvement Strategy for Culture and Sport
DCMS March 2008

Creating Opportunities: Guidance for Local Authorities in England on Local
Cultural Strategies DCMS 2000

A wide range of policy, planning, project and committee papers, brochures
and promotional materials and websites.

                                  Page 373
Page 374

To top