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Evaluating the Impact of the Birmingham Cultural Partnerships

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					Evaluating the Impact of the Birmingham
Cultural Partnership's Working
Neighbourhoods Fund
Commissioning Programme


Final Report

30th March 2011
        Contents

        Executive Summary ............................................................................... i

1.0     Introduction ........................................................................................... 1
1.1     About Birmingham Cultural Partnership..................................................................1
1.2     About the Working Neighbourhoods Fund Commissioning Programme .............1
1.3     About the Evaluation..................................................................................................2
1.3.1   Aims and objectives of the evaluation ..........................................................................2
1.3.2   Research approach ......................................................................................................2
1.4     Report Structure.........................................................................................................2


2.0     Small Grants Scheme............................................................................ 3
2.1     Logic Model ................................................................................................................3
2.2     Objectives and Need ..................................................................................................4
2.3     Inputs...........................................................................................................................4
2.4     Activities .....................................................................................................................5
2.5     Outputs........................................................................................................................6
2.6     Outcomes....................................................................................................................7
2.6.1   Social............................................................................................................................7
2.6.2   Cultural .........................................................................................................................9
2.7     Added Value..............................................................................................................11
2.8     Sustainability of Outcomes .....................................................................................11
2.9     Return on Investment...............................................................................................12
2.10    Case Study................................................................................................................12
2.11    Key Findings.............................................................................................................14


3.0     Emerging Festivals Fund .................................................................... 17
3.1     Logic Model ..............................................................................................................17
3.2     Objectives and Need ................................................................................................18
3.3     Inputs.........................................................................................................................18
3.4     Activities ...................................................................................................................19
3.5     Outputs......................................................................................................................20
3.6     Outcomes..................................................................................................................21
3.6.1   Economic....................................................................................................................21
3.6.2   Social..........................................................................................................................22
3.6.3   Cultural .......................................................................................................................23
3.7     Added Value..............................................................................................................24




                                                                    i
3.8     Sustainability of Outcomes .....................................................................................25
3.9     Return on Investment...............................................................................................25
3.10    Case Study................................................................................................................26
3.11    Key Findings.............................................................................................................28


4.0     Festivals Challenge Fund ................................................................... 30
4.1     Logic Model ..............................................................................................................30
4.2     Objectives and Need ................................................................................................31
4.3     Inputs.........................................................................................................................31
4.4     Activities ...................................................................................................................32
4.5     Outputs......................................................................................................................33
4.6     Outcomes..................................................................................................................34
4.6.1   Economic....................................................................................................................34
4.6.2   Social..........................................................................................................................35
4.6.3   Cultural .......................................................................................................................36
4.7     Added Value..............................................................................................................38
4.8     Sustainability of Outcomes .....................................................................................38
4.9     Return on Investment...............................................................................................38
4.10    Case Study................................................................................................................38
4.11    Key Findings.............................................................................................................40


5.0     International Partnerships Programme.............................................. 42
5.1     Logic Model ..............................................................................................................42
5.2     Objectives and Need ................................................................................................43
5.3     Inputs.........................................................................................................................43
5.4     Activities ...................................................................................................................44
5.5     Outputs......................................................................................................................46
5.6     Outcomes..................................................................................................................47
5.6.1   Economic....................................................................................................................47
5.6.2   Social..........................................................................................................................48
5.6.3   Cultural .......................................................................................................................49
5.7     Added Value..............................................................................................................50
5.8     Sustainability of Outcomes .....................................................................................50
5.9     Return on Investment...............................................................................................50
5.10    Case Study................................................................................................................51
5.11    Key Findings.............................................................................................................53


6.0     The Commissioning Programme........................................................ 55
6.1     Logic Model ..............................................................................................................55




                                                                   ii
6.2     Objectives and Need ................................................................................................56
6.3     Inputs.........................................................................................................................56
6.4     Activities ...................................................................................................................57
6.5     Outputs......................................................................................................................58
6.6     Outcomes..................................................................................................................58
6.6.1   Economic....................................................................................................................58
6.6.2   Social..........................................................................................................................59
6.6.3   Cultural .......................................................................................................................61
6.7     Added Value..............................................................................................................62
6.8     Sustainability of Outcomes .....................................................................................62
6.9     Return on Investment...............................................................................................63
6.10    Challenges ................................................................................................................63
6.11    Key Findings.............................................................................................................64


7.0     Conclusions and Recommendations ................................................. 65
7.1     Conclusions..............................................................................................................65
7.2     Recommendations ...................................................................................................65


        Annex One: Project List ......................................................................A1

        Annex Two: Research Brief ..............................................................A10




                                                                   iii
Executive Summary
In February 2011, Ecorys was commissioned by the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP) to evaluate their
Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) commissioning programmes.

About the Working Neighbourhoods Fund Commissioning Programme

The WNF is a national programme that aims to tackle worklessness and build the economic base of the most
disadvantaged areas. Through this funding programme, BCP developed four commissioning programmes
which aimed to support achievement of the Local Area Agreement (LAA) cultural targets:

• Small Grants Scheme (SGS): to support cultural activity that brings the residents of Erdington, Hodge Hill,
   Ladywood or Perry Barr together.


• Emerging Festivals Programme (EFF): to provide ‘seed’ funding support for new and emerging
   independent festivals which have the best potential for raising Birmingham’s profile to attract more people,
   trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport and creative
   sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities, programmes and activities locally.


• Festivals Challenge Fund (FCF): to support independent festivals which have the best potential for raising
   Birmingham’s profile to attract more people, trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events
   across the cultural, sport and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities,
   programmes and activities locally.


• International Partnership Programme (IPP): to improve visitors’ perceptions of Birmingham as a great
   place to visit by raising the international profile of the city’s cultural offer.


About the Evaluation

The aim of this evaluation, as set out in the research brief, is to better understand the cultural, social and
economic impact of the WNF commissioning programmes. In particular, the evaluation generates:

• an understanding, backed by evidence, of the outcomes of each specific programme and collectively;
• an understanding of how effective the programmes were in terms of value for money and return on
  investment; and
• an analysis of the research which sets out how to improve the outcomes from a commissioning process.

Logic Model for the Commissioning Programme

The following diagram summarises the BCP WNF Commissioning Programme. Further details are provided in
the following sections.




                                                        i
Commissioning Programme Logic Model




Objectives and Need

The WNF Commissioning Programme supported Birmingham’s Cultural Strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010 – 2015’,
which aims to ensure that residents enjoy a better quality of life and that culture makes a stronger contribution to
the city economy. In particular, the programme aimed to support three cultural targets, as set out in the current
LAA:

• increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation;
• closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation, Perry Barr, Erdington,
   Hodge Hill and Ladywood as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies; and
• improving perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital.




                                                    ii
In addition to these targets, each of the four programmes had their own specific objectives. For example the
SGS aimed to support cultural activity that brings people together, whereas the IPP aimed to support the trans-
national mobility of Birmingham artists, companies, cultural works and products. Improving the quality and
quantity of the artistic programme offered in Birmingham and encouraging audience development were also key
objectives of the SGS, EFF and FCF.

Inputs

The following table shows that a total of £424,325 in grants was awarded through the Commissioning
Programme; almost half of this funding (£205,433) was awarded to projects under the IPP. The SGS supported
the greatest number of projects but the maximum grant awarded under this scheme was £5,000. In
comparison, the IPP awarded grants of up to £20,000.

The table also highlights that additional funding was secured across all programmes; in total, WNF represented
approximately 31% of the total project costs, which came to almost £1.4 million. Projects secured a range of
additional funding, for example through other funding agencies or partners, sponsorship, ticket sales,
fundraising and also contributions from the core delivery organisations. As a proportion of WNF, the festivals
secured the most funding from other sources. For the FCF, much of this was, either all or partly, secured prior
to the WNF grant being awarded. However, a number of EFF projects highlighted that the WNF played a key
role in enabling them to lever additional sources. For IPP projects, there was also evidence that the backing of
BCP was valuable in demonstrating credibility to international partners.

Table E1 Programme Funding
                                                     Number of                            Other                  WNF as % of
 Programme                                                                     WNF                  Total Cost
                                                      Projects                           Funding                  Total Cost

 Small Grants Scheme                                      18              £76,383        £48,817    £125,200         61%

 Emerging Festivals Fund                                  8               £37,691        £171,361   £209,052         18%
                                                                                     1
 Festivals Challenge Fund                                 7              £104,818        £380,582   £485,400         22%

 International Partnerships Programme                     12             £205,433        £349,062   £554,495         37%

 Total                                                    45             £424,325        £949,822   £1,374,147       31%

Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews




Activities

The following table provides details of the types of activities delivered under each of the programmes. The
diversity and range of activities supported through the Commissioning Programme was notable. For example,
across all programmes, a range of art forms were covered, including music, visual arts, theatre, dance,
architecture, film, literature and photography.



    1
     An additional £30,000 was awarded to three organisations as a result of under-spend to support their 2011 festivals
    and events but this has been excluded from the total funding.




                                                                iii
For the SGS, EFF and IPP the WNF was used to support new or additional activities or festivals, which were
relatively self-contained. However for some of the FCF projects, the WNF supported activities that played a
much more integral role in an existing festival. The IPP (plus an element of one of the FCF projects) was the
only programme that supported overseas visits; the activities delivered under all of the other programmes took
place in Birmingham.

Table E2 Activities
 Programme                 Description of activities

 Small Grants              Participant performances (6 projects); exhibitions (5 projects); festivals and fun days (5 projects); a
 Scheme                    musical performance (1 project); and a social group (1 project).

                           8 festivals covering a range of art forms including music (3 projects); visual arts (2 projects); theatre
 Emerging Festivals
                           (1 project); film (1 project) and combined arts (1 project). In addition, the festivals typically included
 Fund
                           a range of wider activities such as workshops.

                           7 festivals covering a range of art forms including music (3 projects); literature (1 project);
 Festivals Challenge       architecture (1 project); film (1 project) and photography (1 project). The WNF was used to fund a
 Fund                      new development that added to their existing festival offer, e.g. greater outreach work, additional
                           events and activities, attraction of new or higher profile artists, and enhanced marketing.

                           International visits covering a range of art forms including dance; music; visual arts; craft; and
 International
                           theatre. Activities included exhibitions and performances, plus workshops. Europe was the most
 Partnerships
                           popular destination but organisations also visited North America, India, China, and the United Arab
 Programme
                           Emirates.
Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews




Outputs

The following table summarises the key outputs from each of the programmes.                                  The Commissioning
Programme supported 45 projects. In total, over 188,000 audience members and visitors were estimated to
have attended or taken part in the projects. In addition, the EFF projects reported that at least 349 artists took
part in the resulting festivals.

The festivals delivered under the FCF attracted the greatest audience numbers, which as established festivals
would perhaps be expected. However, it is important to consider audience numbers in relation to the diverse
nature of the activities being delivered and the total funding secured. For example, the IPP secured the most
funding but these activities included high travel costs and the SGS projects cost the least but worked with
audiences that do not typically engage in cultural activities.

Table E3 Programme Outputs
                           Number
 Programme                    of                     Number of activities                   Audience / Visitors / Participants
                           projects

                                                  6 participant performances
 Small Grants                                             5 exhibitions
                               18                                                                          13,234
 Scheme                                              5 festivals / fun days
                                                     1 music performance




                                                                iv
                           Number
 Programme                    of                     Number of activities             Audience / Visitors / Participants
                           projects

                                                         1 social group

 Emerging Festivals
                               8                   8 festivals over 33 days                        12,895
 Fund

 Festivals Challenge                     7 festivals comprising at least 369 events
                               7                                                                   132,875
 Fund                                            /performances / exhibitions

 International                           47 international and 17 UK performances /
 Partnerships                  12                         exhibitions                              29,187
 Programme                                 59 international and 8 UK workshops

 Total                         45                               -                                  188,191
Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews




Economic Outcomes

Strengthened and promoted the creative economy

The WNF grants helped to provide opportunities for artists to showcase their work. What is more, the festivals
(EFF and FCF) often supported new and upcoming artists, including those from Birmingham and the
surrounding areas. The IPP, on the other hand, provided Birmingham-based organisations with an opportunity
to gain more experience of international touring, thus increasing their profile and helping to safeguard their
future. There is no evidence to suggest that ongoing employment opportunities have been created, although
the FCF and the IPP supported some short-term, temporary work opportunities.

Increased the profile and reputation of Birmingham

Increasing the profile and reputation of Birmingham was a key objective for the EFF, FCF and IPP. It is clear
that the festivals secured significant regional and national media coverage, which helped to raise awareness of
Birmingham, particularly in respect of its cultural offer. The festivals also attracted national and international
artists and sought to provide a high quality unique cultural offer that arguably, would help to put Birmingham on
the map. In the case of the IPP, projects mentioned the city in marketing material and press releases, and
some actively promoted Birmingham to the business community and other stakeholders through events and
receptions. However many organisations involved in the IPP reported that they struggled with this aspect of the
programme.

Increased visitors and supported the wider economy

The emerging festivals primarily attracted audiences from across Birmingham or the surrounding areas.
Notwithstanding this, the involvement of high profile artists, plus wider marketing and promotion did attract some
audience members from further afield. In comparison, the festivals supported through the FCF attracted a much
greater number of visitors from outside of Birmingham and there is evidence to highlight how these visitors
supported the wider economy, for example in terms of additional spend on accommodation, food and drink.




                                                                v
Many of the festivals involved artists from beyond the region and in some cases, from overseas, which also
constituted an increase in visitors. It is important to note, however, that the WNF was often part of a much wider
package of funding, which together enabled these outcomes to be realised. There was no evidence of the IPP
projects contributing to an increase in tourist visitors to Birmingham, however two projects did report that they
had or were about to host first-time visits to the city by project partners who had decided to visit after being
impressed with what they heard about the city and its cultural offer

Social Outcomes

Increased community cohesion

The majority of the SGS projects placed a strong emphasis on improving community cohesion and for two of the
EFF projects supporting community cohesion was also a key objective. This was primarily achieved by offering
a range of cultural activities in local neighbourhoods that encouraged residents from diverse communities to
come together. For the SGS, many projects highlighted that the cultural activities acted as the 'tool' or 'lever' to
bring residents together. There is some evidence, albeit to a much lesser degree, of improved community
cohesion across the other festivals as they endeavoured to attract more diverse audiences, including those that
do not typically engage in culture. The IPP did not generally contribute to improved community cohesion.

Increased cultural engagement / participation

Increasing cultural engagement and participation was a key objective of the SGS, EFF and FCF. In the short-
term, all three programmes demonstrated that they had supported this objective. However, much of the work
was on a relatively small scale and the extent to which increased engagement and participation was sustained
beyond the WNF is largely unclear. As a result, a noticeable improvement in respect of the LAA targets, to
increase adult participation in sport and active recreation and to close the gap between participation in the four
constituencies with low participation as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies, is
unlikely to be evident.

Notwithstanding this, the WNF helped to increase engagement and participation in the following ways:

• Cost: Offering cultural events and activities free-of-charge or at affordable prices.
• Location: Delivering cultural events and activities in neighbourhoods, in a range of different venues or in
   public locations.
• Cultural offer: Attracting high profile artists and delivering events that reflect the make-up of local
   communities in Birmingham.
• Involvement of local communities: Encouraging participatory activities and volunteering opportunities, for
   example in the planning stages as well as the project delivery stage.
• Marketing: Working with other organisations, undertaking targeted marketing and using the internet to reach
   new audiences.


By delivering activities in the four priority constituencies, the SGS and some of the EFF and FCF projects
successfully engaged residents from these areas. Other projects engaged new audiences from across the
whole city (or from further afield). The IPP, on the other hand, engaged with new overseas audiences; however,
the extent to which these audiences were new to the art form is generally unclear.




                                                    vi
Developed capacity and skills among local residents

The SGS, EFF and FCF primarily supported up-skilling at two levels: firstly in terms of involving individuals as
volunteers in the planning and delivery of activities; and secondly by providing opportunities for participants to
take part in workshops or cultural activities that encouraged them to develop their skills across various art forms.
All the SGS projects and some of the EFF projects focused on developing the capacity and skills of residents
from the four priority constituencies in Birmingham. The remaining EFF projects and the FCF projects tended to
engage individuals from across the region (including those from the city), or in the case of some of the FCF
festivals volunteers were also recruited from beyond the region.

Contributed to wider social priorities

On the whole, the SGS was the only programme that played a key role in contributing to wider social priorities.
This was primarily achieved by engaging a range of service providers in the planning and delivery of their
projects, for example service providers had 'manned' stalls at the events. Some grant recipients were also not
traditional arts organisations (e.g. an allotment association, a community association) and therefore their
projects played a role in supporting the wider social priorities of these organisations.

Cultural Outcomes

Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

The EFF provided funding to enable a number of new organisations and festivals to be established and
therefore played a fundamental role in enhancing capacity within the cultural sector. For the more established
festivals that were supported through the FCF, plus the IPP projects, the WNF enabled them to develop new
areas of work. The SGS offered relatively small grants to organisations that were often experienced in
undertaking outreach work. Therefore there was only limited evidence of this programme enhancing the
capacity and skills of lead organisations.

Across the four programmes, some projects offered workshops or master-classes, which helped to develop
skills within the cultural sector. In addition, the volunteering opportunities offered across many projects
supported the capacity of the cultural sector. The festivals delivered under the FCF also often worked with
students from across the region, and several offered internships, which gave young people an opportunity to
gain valuable work experience and skills.

Increased / improved collaborations

Collaborative working was key to the success of all projects delivered through the Commissioning Programme.
The WNF provided a catalyst for many organisations to develop new partnerships or to strengthen existing
relationships with organisations, both within and outside of Birmingham. In addition, the projects provided
opportunities for new artistic collaborations. Most notably, collaborative working supported the successful
delivery of the projects by helping to engage wider audiences, by increasing the quality and diversity of the
cultural offer and by stimulating the exchange of skills. Across all four programmes, organisations highlighted
that they intend relationships with partners to continue beyond the lifetime of the project and there is already
evidence to suggest that some partners are working together to secure funding for future projects.




                                                    vii
Improved the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision

The Commissioning Programme has played a key role in enhancing the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural
provision across Birmingham. For example, the funding allowed organisations to secure higher profile artists,
to offer a wider range of activities, and to develop new work. However, for the SGS in particular, this
improvement is temporary as there are very few examples of how the quality or quantity of provision will be
expanded in the long term. In comparison, the EFF has kick-started a series of new or emerging festivals; the
majority of which are planned to continue in the future.

Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

The SGS and some EFF projects improved access to cultural activities by delivering them in Birmingham
neighbourhoods. In addition, the funding provided across the SGS, EFF and FCF allowed for a greater
provision of free events across the city. As a result, there is some evidence to suggest that individuals will
continue to engage in more cultural activities in the future. The Commissioning Programme, through financial
support for marketing, promotion and outreach work, also helped to raise the profile of the cultural organisations
based in Birmingham. In particular, the festivals supported by the FCF strengthened their online presence and
the IPP supported organisations' international profile. The SGS has promoted the use of cultural, and indeed
non-cultural, activities and facilities in the four priority constituencies and as a result of their SGS project, some
community organisations are seeking to expand their cultural work.

Added Value

The WNF Commissioning Programme has demonstrated added value across all projects, however the level of
additionality does vary, as highlighted below:

• Although all of the IPP organisations highlighted that they would not have been able to deliver what they did
   without WNF support, this varies from not being able to go on tour at all to not being able to offer a tour of
   such high quality.


• In the absence of the SGS, almost two-thirds of organisations reported that the proposed activities would
   simply have not gone ahead at all, with many of the remainder stating that the project would have been
   scaled-down both in terms of ambition and engagement of partners.


• Under the EFF, at least three of the festivals would not have happened without WNF. For others, the WNF
   played a key role in enabling them to attract higher profile artists and offer a wider range of activities, thus
   adding to their overall cultural offer and the profile of their event.


• Without the FCF, all of the festivals would still have gone ahead. However, the specific activities that were
   funded by the WNF may not have taken place. The funding enabled the festivals to strengthen and promote
   their unique offer and many organisations noted that the FCF allowed them to take more risks in respect of
   developing new areas of work.




                                                    viii
The WNF has helped to enhance Birmingham's cultural offer and make cultural activities more accessible.
Particularly across the EFF and SGS, some organisations also highlighted that the WNF helped them to secure
additional funding.

Sustainability of Outcomes

The vast majority of projects hope to continue their work in the future. All of the festivals supported through the
FCF are set to continue and what is more, the WNF encouraged these festivals to develop new areas of work,
which many hope to build into future festivals. In addition, there is already evidence that a number of emerging
festivals are being repeated in 2011 and many of the organisations supported through the IPP are either further
developing the work that they prepared for the IPP or looking to undertake further international touring.
Notwithstanding this, the availability of future funding remains a challenge for many.

Across all of the programmes, the WNF played a key role in supporting new collaborations or strengthening
existing partnerships and all organisations expressed an interest in working with these individuals and
organisations again in the future. For example, some of the SGS project leads are already working with
partners to bid for further funding to repeat activities, as well as to develop new ones.

The WNF has also helped to raise the profile of cultural organisations in Birmingham and as a result, there are
examples of organisations looking to develop and promote their work beyond Birmingham.

Return on Investment

Given the diversity of projects supported through the Commissioning Programme, calculating the overall return
on investment, or unit cost per person, is very difficult. It has been estimated that the SGS delivered a unit cost
of approximately £26 per attendee whereas the EFF generated a unit cost of just over £16 per person. For the
IPP, the unit costs vary from £4.98 to £87.73 per participant with the range reflecting the diversity of activity
undertaken.

Challenges

The key challenges faced by organisations applying for grants under the Commissioning Programme can be
summarised as follows:

1 The application forms were considered to be too lengthy and too generic for many applicants.


2 The timeframe for submitting funding applications was viewed as being very short, particularly for the FCF
  and the IPP, where it was felt that more time to develop project ideas would have been beneficial.


3 In addition, decisions regarding funding allocations arguably took too long, resulting in less time to plan and
   deliver projects. This was particularly challenging for the IPP, but was also cited by organisations delivering
   projects under the SGS and the FCF.




                                                    ix
4 The application requirements, for example the provision of audited accounts for two previous financial years,
   can restrict some organisations from applying for grants. This was particularly evident for the EFF where
   new festivals and new organisations were being established.


5 Organisations adopted a range of marketing approaches to raise awareness of their cultural activities but it
   still remains a challenge, particularly when they are seeking to engage new audiences.


6 Projects secured additional funding to deliver their projects, however in reality it was common for projects to
  cost much more to deliver. A significant amount of in-kind support ensured the successful delivery of
   projects.


7 For many projects, particularly the emerging festivals, there is a need for further funding to sustain and
  develop activities but given the difficulties in securing public funding, there is a risk that the momentum,
   capacity and skills built up through these projects is lost.


8 Under the FCF, projects were required to demonstrate that the WNF supported a new development. For
  many festivals, it was difficult to identify new areas of work as funding was more commonly required to
   strengthen and enhance existing work.


Conclusions

The Commissioning Programme has demonstrated that the provision of grant funding to local organisations is
an effective means of enhancing the capacity of these organisations, whilst also strengthening Birmingham's
cultural offer and responding to local needs. There is a range of evidence to suggest that the projects have
contributed to all three of the LAA cultural targets:

• increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation;
• closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation, Perry Barr, Erdington,
   Hodge Hill and Ladywood as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies; and
• improving perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital.

However, the value of the grants supported work at a relatively small scale and as a result the extent to which
projects will lead to long-term improvements in these targets remains unclear. Notwithstanding this, the grants
have acted as catalysts for stimulating a range of spin-off benefits, particularly in respect of supporting greater
collaborative working and developing new areas of work. There is an enthusiasm for continuing to build on the
work that has been undertaken through this process but going forward, many projects will still require public
funding to help them to raise awareness of Birmingham's cultural offer and ensure that cultural activities are
accessible to all. Securing future funding remains a challenge and consequently, there is a risk that the
momentum, capacity and skills built up through these projects will be lost.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of this evaluation, the following recommendations are proposed:




                                                        x
1 The timescale for submitting applications should allow organisations sufficient time to properly plan their
   projects.


2 There is scope to increase awareness of funding programmes in order to encourage a greater range of
  organisations to apply.


3 The support provided at the application stage should be continued and a two staged application process
   would be beneficial in order to reduce the burden of completing application forms. Similarly, scope for
   submitting electronic versions of documents should be explored.


4 Wherever possible, application forms should be simplified and tailored to specific programmes.


5 Partnership working between organisations should be encouraged and supported, particularly to support
   new organisations in accessing funding.


6 Greater partnership working with Birmingham City Council, for example Marketing Birmingham, the Events
  Team and the City Centre Management Team, should be encouraged and facilitated, particularly to help
   raise the profile and reputation of Birmingham.


7 Local organisations have demonstrated success in engaging local communities and partners in order to
  generate a wide range of outcomes that contribute to both cultural and social priorities for the city and
   therefore these grants should be continued.


8 International projects should be encouraged to strengthen their local links alongside their overseas work, for
  example by developing work to perform overseas and also in Birmingham.


9 Where existing activities are supported, the additionality of grants should be clearly identified and monitored.


10 A clear set of evaluation criteria, that respond to programme objectives, would enable the impact of grant
   funded schemes to be better assessed. BCP is currently developing an evaluation framework and toolkit to
   measure the impact of Birmingham's Cultural Strategy, which would benefit such schemes in the future.


11 If similar programmes are to be continued, a process for sharing and documenting lessons learnt by the
   organisations involved should be encouraged. This would be particularly valuable for the IPP and EFF.




                                                     xi
1.0 Introduction
In February 2011, Ecorys was commissioned by the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP) to evaluate their
Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) commissioning programmes.


1.1 About Birmingham Cultural Partnership

BCP is one of the thematic partnerships within the framework of Be Birmingham, the Local Strategic Partnership
(LSP). It is a multi-agency grouping including representatives from arts, heritage, museums, libraries, sport and
leisure, tourism, skills, Higher Education and regional development sectors. The focus of the work of BCP is
provided by the cultural strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010-2015’. This sets out the shared priorities for the
development of services and initiatives in the cultural sector. The strategy aims to ensure that residents enjoy a
better quality of life and that culture makes a stronger contribution to the city economy.

The aims and objectives of the strategy have been translated into cultural targets within the current Local Area
Agreement (LAA). The targets of relevance to this evaluation are:

• increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation;
• closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation, Perry Barr, Erdington,
   Hodge Hill and Ladywood as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies; and
• improving perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital.

1.2 About the Working Neighbourhoods Fund Commissioning Programme

The WNF is a national programme that aims to tackle worklessness and build the economic base of the most
disadvantaged areas. Through this funding programme, BCP developed four commissioning programmes
which aimed to support achievement of the LAA cultural targets:

• Small Grants Scheme (SGS): to support cultural activity that brings the residents of Erdington, Hodge Hill,
   Ladywood or Perry Barr together.


• Emerging Festivals Programme (EFF): to provide ‘seed’ funding support for new and emerging
   independent festivals which have the best potential for raising Birmingham’s profile to attract more people,
   trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport and creative
   sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities, programmes and activities locally.


• Festivals Challenge Fund (FCF): to support independent festivals which have the best potential for raising
   Birmingham’s profile to attract more people, trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events
   across the cultural, sport and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities,
   programmes and activities locally.


• The International Partnership Programme (IPP): to improve visitors’ perceptions of Birmingham as a great
   place to visit by raising the international profile of the city’s cultural offer.




                                                        1
1.3 About the Evaluation

1.3.1 Aims and objectives of the evaluation
The aim of this evaluation, as set out in the research brief, is to better understand the cultural, social and
economic impact of the WNF commissioning programmes. In particular, the evaluation generates:

• an understanding, backed by evidence, of the outcomes of each specific programme and collectively;
• an understanding of how effective the programmes were in terms of value for money and return on
    investment; and
• an analysis of the research which sets out how to improve the outcomes from a commissioning process.


1.3.2 Research approach
The research approach was based on the completion of an evaluation matrix, which was structured around the
following components: objectives and need; inputs; activities; outputs; and outcomes. Additional questions
related to the sustainability of outcomes, value for money, challenges and the effectiveness of the
commissioning programme were also explored. The research approach involved the following key tasks:

•   A review of programme information and relevant strategy documents.
•   A review of project application forms and evaluation templates.
                                                                2
•   Telephone consultations with 35 project representatives .
•   Development of four case studies.


1.4 Report Structure

The report comprises one chapter for each of the four commissioning programmes (Chapters Two to Five).
Each of these chapters evaluates the programme against its original objectives and reviews the inputs,
activities, outputs and outcomes. These chapters also consider the added value of the WNF and the
sustainability of outcomes, and include a case study.

Chapter Six collates the findings from across the four individual programmes to evaluate the commissioning
programme as a whole.

Chapter Seven sets out the conclusions and recommendations for improving the outcomes from a
commissioning process.

The report is also supported by two annexes; the first summarises the projects supported through the
commissioning programme; and the second sets out the research brief.




    2
        All grant recipients were contacted and invited to participate in the research.




                                                        2
2.0 Small Grants Scheme
This chapter considers the 18 projects that were funded through the Small Grant Scheme (SGS). It is based on
a review of 18 project application forms, 18 evaluation templates and 14 consultations with project
representatives.


2.1 Logic Model

The following diagram summarises the logic model for the SGS. Further details are provided in the following
sections.

Figure 2.1 SGS Logic Model




                                                3
2.2 Objectives and Need

The objective of the SGS was to support, or create, cultural activity in the four priority constituencies of
Erdington, Hodge Hill, Ladywood and Perry Barr. These are areas where cultural participation is low and access
to provision is potentially limited. The specific LAA targets that the SGS was designed to contribute to are:

• increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation; and
• closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation as measured against
   the remaining six Birmingham constituencies.


Although difficult to measure, it was hoped that funding these cultural activities would help to improve local
residents' quality of life, as well as contributing towards improved health, education, self-confidence and sense
of civic pride and engagement. It is also recognised by BCP that much of the cultural infrastructure is city centre
based at present, and therefore there was a desire for the SGS to create new local infrastructure, for example,
by delivering activities and events in community facilities as well as linking up with the existing infrastructure in a
more structured way.

Applications were sought from a range of local organisations, including those that are traditionally involved in
delivering cultural activities, as well as non-traditional organisations with a desire to deliver cultural activities
(e.g. community groups). Although the targeting of the programme was largely done on a geographical basis
(the four priority constituencies), there was also a desire to support cultural activities that were inter-generational
as well as multi-ethnic.


2.3 Inputs

In total, £87,000 of WNF resources was forecast to be allocated to the SGS over the 2009/10 to 2001/11 period.
BCP anticipated making grants of between £500 and £5,000 available to approximately 20 organisations from
the four priority constituencies that proposed projects which promoted active participation opportunities in the
cultural sector. Given that the application phase was targeted at organisations operating in, or looking to deliver
cultural activities in the four priority constituencies, it is impressive to report that 47 organisations expressed an
interest in applying for funding, with 26 submitting a full application and 18 eventually successful in securing
SGS funding.

Table 2.1 provides details of the total amount of WNF funding secured by projects, broken down by type of
activity. In reality, £76,383 (or 88%) of the available resources were allocated to deliver cultural projects through
the SGS. This funding was spread across 18 projects, with grants ranging from £1,195 to £5,000 (resulting in an
average SGS grant of £4,260).

The table also provides details of the additional funding secured by projects. This funding was generated
through applications for other grants (e.g. Screen West Midlands and Children in Need), fundraising activities
and in-kind contributions from the organisations and delivery partners themselves. It is impressive to report that
£48,817 of additional funding was raised, representing a leverage ratio of £1:£0.64 (WNF to additional funding).
One of the project leads also reported securing £19,935 of additional funding from Arts Council England to
expand project activities, which if included in the leverage ratio would put it at £1:£0.9. In some instances,




                                                      4
projects already had additional funding locked in place, although a number of consultees reported that securing
the WNF was critical to levering in additional funding.

Table 2.1 SGS Project Funding
                                                                                                  WNF as % of Total
 Type of Activity                               WNF                 Other Funding   Total Cost
                                                                                                       Cost

 Participant Performances                     £27,405                  £13,361      £40,766              67%

 Exhibitions                                  £23,700                  £16,537      £40,237              59%

 Festivals / Fun Days                         £17,578                  £16,619      £34,197              51%

 Music performance                             £5,000                   £1,500       £6,500              77%

 Social group                                  £2,700                    £799        £3,499              77%

 Total                                        £76,383                  £48,817      £125,200             61%
Source: SGS project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


2.4 Activities

A broad range of activities were delivered through the SGS; many of which involved some form of active
participation by communities, whether through project planning or in delivery, for example through volunteering
or by taking part in performances. The type of activities delivered can be broken down as follows:

• Participant performances (6 projects) were the most common type of activity delivered. Projects falling
   under this theme typically involved a range of partners, for example schools and community groups, to help
   engage participants. Following this, a number of workshops were usually delivered (e.g. by musicians and
   participatory engagement professionals) to provide participants with new skills (e.g. singing, dancing, acting).
   A 'core' group of participants usually then took part in a public performance, or sometimes a series of
   performances that were delivered in community venues. In all cases, residents from the four consistencies
   formed the audience for the final performances. For example 'Suitcase' was a participatory project delivered
   by a theatre-in-education company called the Big Brum. Over 350 school children across 6 schools were
   engaged through the project, to create and participate in a theatrical performance, exploring the issues of
   migration and transition which were pertinent social issues in the priority constituencies.


• Exhibitions (5 projects) were also popular amongst the SGS funded organisations. Similar to the
   participant performances, there was a strong focus on engagement and participation in the planning and
   creation of the 'pieces' that formed the exhibitions. The type of activities delivered included the creation of
   photographic, art and multimedia exhibitions, while one highly ambitious project called 'Home Movies',
   engaged a group of residents and trained them to become ‘community curators’. This project culminated in
   an exhibition and screening programme, which was created by the community curators, that was showcased
   in community venues.


• Public festivals and fun days (5 projects) were also well represented. These were typically one-day events
   and delivered in community parks and spaces (e.g. Bloomsbury Park fun day and the Festival of the Fifties
   at Brownfield Road Allotments). The type of activities delivered ranged from artistic performances (music,




                                                               5
   dancing, singing), to the provision of world foods that often represented the ethnic diversity in the area, to
   participatory activities (ranging from a climbing wall at the Bloomsbury Park Fun Day, to quizzes at the
   Festival of the Fifties, to a local talent contest at the Newtown Community Fun Day). Public service providers
   were also well represented (health, education, police, employment) at the events to provide information and
   potentially refer residents to further support and provision.


• Slightly distinct from the other activities was a one-off musical performance (1 project) delivered by the
   City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) in a community venue in Ladywood and a social group (1
   project) that was formed by the Karis Neighbour Scheme to enable vulnerable and isolated residents from
   Ladywood to visit cultural venues and attend public performances in Birmingham. Similar to the other
   projects, the engagement and involvement of a range of partners (e.g. residents, third sector partners and
   faith groups) in the design phase was also a key feature of these projects.


2.5 Outputs

In total, the SGS supported eight projects in Ladywood, four projects in Perry Barr, four projects in Erdington
and two projects in Hodge Hill. Table 2.2 provides a broad breakdown of the number of project participants and
also estimated figures for audience members or attendees and volunteer numbers by type of activity. In total,
13,234 people were engaged in the cultural activities delivered as a result of the SGS, 1,675 of which actually
participated in cultural activities.

                                                                                                                                                        3
The number of participants engaged ranged from a 'core' group of 4 residents for a multimedia exhibition called
‘Home Movies’, to 352 school children across six schools, who participated in a creative drama project called
‘Suitcase’. While in terms of audience members at events and attendees at festivals, the smallest number of
people gathered was 50, for a participatory dance event (called Sharing Spaces), and the largest was 5,2004,
for the lunar table conversations exhibition run by the Ikon Gallery. Although it has not been possible to provide
a breakdown of where audience members and attendees were drawn from, project leads were confident that the
majority of people were local residents from the four priority constituencies.

Most projects had an aspiration to engage and work with volunteers, although some did not achieve this in
reality (largely due to a lack of time to engage people). Volunteering levels therefore varied from zero to sixty
two (as part of the Bloomsbury Park Fun Day). The festivals and fun days were most successful in engaging
volunteers with an average of almost 33 volunteers per project. While the exhibitions appear not to have
engaged any volunteers, participants often performed dual roles and helped to design and, critically, deliver
project-related activities.




 3 Please note, 25 participants were engaged overall, but 4 participants formed the 'core' group that actually delivered the final exhibition and screening

 programme.

 4 This figure includes attendees to the lunar table conversations exhibition and publication recipients.




                                                                         6
Table 2.2 SGS Outputs
 Types of activities                         Number of               Participants             Attendees/             Volunteers5               Total number of
                                             projects                                         Audience                                           participants /
                                                                                                                                             attendees/audience
                                                                                                                                                   members
 Participant Performances                             6                   1,012                  1,419                     30                          2,431

 Exhibitions                                          5                    522                   5,650                      -                          6,172

 Festivals / Fun Days                                 5                      0                   4,350                    164                          4,350

 Professional music performance                       1                     11                     140                      5                           151

 Social group                                         1                    130                       0                      -                           130

 Total                                               18                   1,675                  11,559                   199                          13,234
Source: SGS project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


2.6 Outcomes

2.6.1 Social
Increased community cohesion

The majority of projects placed a strong emphasis on building community cohesion. They did this by delivering
inter-generational projects that actively sought to bring together residents from different ethnic minority groups
to celebrate their diversity. Although culture was the overarching theme of the SGS, in many cases it was
regarded by project partners as the 'tool' or 'lever' to bring residents together and help create broader social
outcomes, and in particular community cohesion.

Perhaps the clearest example of increased social cohesion was evident in Newtown (Ladywood constituency).
The lead partner reported that there had been a heightened level of 'tension' between the Somali and African-
Caribbean community in the year running up to their fun day. The fun day was primarily regarded as cultural
event, however, the desire to engage ethnic minority groups within Newtown, was also a major aim of the
project. Therefore, as part of the consultation process the Somali and African-Caribbean communities were
engaged to help plan the day. This activity not only resulted in a high turn-out at the fun day, which took place
without incident, but also stimulated the development of a 'spin off' project called 'In it Together', which targeted
gang issues in the Somali community. As a result of this and other community cohesion activity, anecdotal
evidence suggests that tensions in the Newtown area have begun to ease.

Increased cultural engagement / participation

It was an express aim of all projects to engage and in some cases encourage participation amongst particular
groups who might not ordinarily have the opportunity to partake in cultural activities. In this sense the SGS can
be considered a success, with the majority of projects stating that they had engaged with a broad cross-section
of residents from the four priority constituencies. However, the extent to which the ‘uplift’ in cultural engagement
and participation levels can be sustained in the long-term was an issue that many project leads highlighted.


 5 This is an estimate of the number of volunteers based on evaluation interviews with lead partners and project evaluation reports where available.




                                                                             7
Where the development of new partnerships, networks and/or groups had been established, projects tended to
be more optimistic about the potential for longer lasting impacts in terms of cultural engagement and
participation levels. Similarly, projects that engaged residents as volunteers (e.g. the fun days) and those that
engaged school children (e.g. the participatory performance activities), were also optimistic about the potential
for sustaining the uplift in cultural engagement and participation levels.

An example of such a project is the social group that was created in Ladywood by the Karis Neighbour Scheme.
The express aim of the project was to engage vulnerable and isolated residents and bring them together to
develop a social group that would visit cultural venues and attend public performances across in Birmingham.
Although small in scale, the project has created a lasting legacy through the formation of a new group, the 'Get
Together Group', which was organised by participants. This group is now looking at further opportunities for
residents to undertake cultural and other types of activities (e.g. developing computer skills).

Developed capacity and skills among local residents

The impact of the projects in terms of up-skilling can be considered at two levels. Firstly, there has been an
impact in terms of up-skilling those residents who were involved in the planning and delivery of activities. As part
of the planning phase of some projects, committees were formed, and it is perhaps here where the most
obvious examples of up-skilling and potential capacity building were evident. For example, as part of the
Bloomsbury Park Fun Day, a local steering group was formed whose membership consisted of local residents,
third sector and faith groups, and service providers. Many of the residents (who were also volunteers on the
day) gained valuable skills in food hygiene, event organisation, conducting risk assessments, and experience of
attending Safety Advisory Group interviews.

Secondly, there has also been an impact in terms of providing participants with the opportunity to develop new
skills (e.g. dance, photographic, singing). A clear example of this is evident in the ‘Home Movies’ project led by
VIVID. Two experienced community engagement workers were employed (one skilled in film making the other in
participatory engagement) to work with residents in Hodge Hill and Ladywood and equip a ‘core’ group of them
with film production and editing skills so that they could curate an exhibition and screening programme in
community venues (a local library and youth facility). As a result of the success of the project and also a sign of
how confident the residents have become, Home Movies will now culminate in a three-day exhibition of films
that deal with the question ‘What is it that makes us ‘Brummies?’. In addition, one of the curators also created
an entirely new 'piece' to be shown as part of the exhibition using the new skills acquired through the project
workshops.

Overall, the evidence of projects developing capacity within organisations, for example, by increasing
volunteering levels, is limited (see Table 2.2). Notwithstanding this, there are some specific project examples.
For example, Friction Arts reported that three young people who volunteered at the Highgate and Digbeth Fun
Day, subsequently volunteered as part of the Inside Out Festival, and are now looking to work with Friction Arts
to set up their own arts club. While the Heart of England NHS Trust indicated that two-thirds of respondents to
a post-project survey stated that they would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer or a member of
Heartlands Hospital.




                                                    8
Contributed to wider social priorities

A common feature of the community fun days was the involvement of a range of service providers (e.g. health,
education, police, fire service, employment) in the planning and delivery of the project. On the actual fun day,
service providers often had ‘manned’ stalls where local residents could pick up leaflets and talk to the outreach
workers. For example, a post-project review of the Bloomsbury Fun Day revealed that the local Credit Union,
which had a stall at the event, had received a number of resident enquiries and had agreed to send these
people more information about the services available.

Project activity has also begun to stimulate other social benefits, which, although difficult to measure, are worthy
of note. Examples include:

• the positive impact the Karis Neighbour Scheme is having on mental health and social isolation issues as a
   result of the social group project in Ladywood;
• the new educational links that the Big Brum has made, particularly in terms of working with families and
   children in an innovative way; and
• the links that third sector partners involved in the Bloomsbury Park Fun Day have made with the Education
   Action Zone, particularly in respect of tackling anti-social behaviour by creating new diversionary activities


More generally, a number of organisations mentioned that by working with local residents to plan and deliver
cultural activities, they impacted positively on the confidence, desire and drive of individuals to get involved in
community activities (many of whom had never been involved in organising such activities and events before).
Some projects also hoped that by stimulating this type of engagement, residents would be more likely to
volunteer to plan and deliver future cultural projects, or perhaps get involved in new and existing third sector
projects.

2.6.2 Cultural
Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

Many of the lead organisations are experienced in undertaking outreach work, or sub-contracted the
engagement and delivery elements of the project to experienced outreach workers. Therefore the extent to
which cultural organisations have learnt new skills in perhaps limited. However, by working collaboratively with
other cultural (and non-cultural) individuals and organisations, project leads did report that in future they would
have a greater (joint) capacity to bid for funding. There are also a number of examples of projects providing
young people with whom they were already engaged with the opportunity to develop new skills by working with
the SGS project partners.

As part of ‘The Hang’ project delivered by Birmingham Jazz, post graduate musicians from Birmingham
Conservatoire were able to gain valuable teaching experience by working with the young participants of the
project; a further outcome of which might be to influence the graduate retention rate in Birmingham. Similarly,
the Ace Dance and Music youth group were involved in delivering the taster workshops, thereby providing them
with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. While the CBSO, reported that one of their musicians had
been inspired by the experience of working on the ‘Found in Ladywood’ project and is now working on a piece of
music that could be used as part of an outreach project to work with young offenders.




                                                     9
Increased / improved collaborations

As highlighted above, the SGS has not necessarily increased the individual capacity of cultural organisations,
but it has certainly fostered better partnership working between cultural, and indeed, non-cultural organisations.
Collaborative working was reported as being key to engaging participants, audiences and attendees in project
activities. Indeed, all 18 projects worked in partnership to design and deliver the cultural activities. What is
more, it is pleasing to note that the vast majority of project leads are also exploring how they might work with
these project partners again in the future.

This collaborative working has also resulted in a number of follow-on benefits for lead partners. For example, it
has increased the potential for organisations to jointly bid for future funding and/or deliver events. Some project
leads (and sub-contractors) are already working on new funding bids to continue or expand the type of cultural
activities delivered. Examples of this include Birmingham Jazz which reported that they were already working
with local schools to bid for Arts Council funding to build on 'The Hang' project. The Big Brum has also built a
fruitful relationship with Osborne Primary School and its partner Osborne Children’s Centre as a result of
'Suitcase', a participatory project targeted at school children. The Big Brum is now exploring new, innovative
ways to work with children and families in Osborne Children’s Centre, which is a new competency for the
company, and one which opens up fascinating new ways of reaching young people. In addition, the CBSO is
working with community partners to bid for and deliver future cultural events in Ladywood, and is also looking to
roll-out the event to the three other priority constituencies.

Improved the quality and diversity of cultural provision

The evidence gathered and analysed through the evaluation certainly demonstrates that the SGS has had an
impact on the quality and diversity of cultural provision in the four priority constituencies. The major caveat to
this is that the improvement currently appears to be a temporary one, with limited examples of the quality or
quantity of provision being expanded for the long-term. However, this is not to say that longer lasting impacts
will not reveal themselves in time, especially given the high level of interest in continuing the partnership
working activity that has been created or built upon through the SGS. As an example, The ‘Home Movies’
project worked with the Pump, a youth facility in Kitts Green, to showcase their final exhibition and screening for
the project. As a result of this work, the Pump is now looking to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund support in order
to use their facilities for similar cultural events in the future. There are also individual examples of projects
supporting the development of new cultural provision within the priority communities. For example, as a result of
youth engagement activity that was undertaken as part of the Newtown Community Fun Day, the
TruStreetDance Academy was subsequently created in Hockley, thereby expanding the range of cultural
provision available to young people.

Perhaps a more realistic ambition, given the level of funding available, was to use the projects as a means to
promote the use of existing cultural, and indeed, non cultural facilities in the four priority constituencies
themselves and more broadly in Birmingham as a whole. It is here where the evaluation evidence suggests that
projects have potentially had a greater impact.




                                                      10
Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

The project participation, audience and attendee figures reveal that a number of the projects were very
successful in encouraging access to cultural provision. There was, however, limited evidence to suggest that the
projects have had anything other than a temporary impact on access to cultural provision, either within the
priority constituencies, or, more broadly, in Birmingham as a whole.

Project leads were keen to point out that the majority of participants, audiences and attendees were new to their
organisation, and therefore the project has helped to increase awareness and promote the use of cultural
provision and/or engagement in activities. Ace Dance and Music reported that a number of young people, and
indeed, adults (often parents of young people who participated in the activities) had expressed an interest in
attending dance classes post-completion of the project. While the Education Action Zone in Nechells is
exploring the potential of accessing further funding to enable young people to access dance classes. As
highlighted earlier, it is also impressive to note that the majority of organisations are exploring how they might
work with partner organisations again in the future, which has positive implications in terms of improving access
to cultural provision.


2.7 Added Value

In the absence of the SGS, almost two-thirds of projects (11 out of 18) reported that they would simply not have
gone ahead at all, with many of the remainder stating that the project would have been scaled-down both in
terms of ambition and engagement of partners. One consultee also mentioned that securing SGS funding gave
the residents and third sector partners engaged "confidence" to plan the activities, and indeed encouraged other
partners to "get involved" in the planning and delivery of the project (i.e. the SGS gave projects credibility).

The SGS has added significant value to existing cultural provision by funding a broad range of new activities
and events that have enabled cultural organisations to reach out and engage with a range of other partners,
often for the first time. For example, the CBSO reported making a number of links with community organisations
as a result of the ‘Found in Ladywood’ project, and are now looking to ‘roll-out’ the project to the other priority
constituencies.


2.8 Sustainability of Outcomes

In the vast majority of cases project leads reported that they have, or plan to undertake exploratory meetings
with partners to discuss ‘what next?' Understandably many project leads are currently unsure about whether
projects or activities will be repeated (at least in their current form). Although, more positively, some project
leads and partners are already bidding for further funding to repeat activities and events as well as develop new
ones. Therefore, rather than the lasting legacy of the SGS being the activities or events that were delivered, it is
perhaps the partnerships that were formed that will ultimately create a more long lasting impact within the four
priority constituencies. For example, as a result of the Bloomsbury Fun Day, Heartlands Education Action Zone,
which was engaged during the planning phase of the SGS project, is now working with third sector partners to
bid for funding to deliver a youth diversion project.




                                                   11
2.9 Return on Investment

Figure 2.2 provides details on the average unit cost per participant/audience member, split by the main types of
activity. Given the level of planning and number of partners involved in the delivery of activities, it is particularly
impressive to report that the average cost per participant was £26. Festivals and fun days provided the best
return on investment, at a unit cost of £10 per attendee. The cost of planning and delivering the participant
performances and exhibitions were noticeably higher than for the festivals and fun days (standing at £24 and
£41 respectively per person). Although given the level of engagement (participants were typically involved in
multiple workshops and had the opportunity to develop a range of new skills), and also opportunities for
participation in the final performances or exhibitions the costs seem very reasonable.

It must also be borne in mind that an express aim of the SGS was to engage a broad cross-section of the
resident population from the four priority constituencies in the design, delivery and participation in the cultural
activities, and therefore additional partnership working, outreach activities and marketing had to be undertaken
to ensure the achievement of this objective.

Figure 2.2 SGS Average Unit Costs by Activity (based on total funding secured)

   £50

   £45                                                                    £43
                                 £41
   £40

   £35

   £30                                                                                   £27         £26
               £24
   £25

   £20

   £15
                                                    £10
   £10

    £5

    £0
            Participant       Exhibitions      Festivals / Fun        Professional   Social group   Overall
          Performances                              days                 music
                                                                      performance


Source: SGS project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


2.10 Case Study

The following case study highlights how the Brownfield Road Allotment Associations created a positive local
impact through the delivery of a one-day festival.




                                                                 12
Project: ‘Festival of the Fifties’
Lead organisation: Brownfield Road Allotments Association (BRAA)
Background

The allotment site has existed for over fifty years and has facilities for the local community including a
pavilion, vegetable shop and a workshop for the maintenance of gardening tools. BRAA has hosted a
number of open days in the past but wanted to deliver a themed event on a bigger scale than had been
done previously.

Objectives

The overarching objective of the project was to 'bond' the community in Shard End (Hodge Hill
constituency) and ultimately promote social cohesion by hosting a ‘Festival of the Fifties’, where
members of the community would have an opportunity to reminiscence about the locale, show
photographs of their lives in the 1950s, swap recipes, share gardening tips and discuss any manner of
local issues.

Inputs

The project received £1,995 from the SGS (this was the smallest allocation overall) and the association
contributed £50 from its own funds in support of the project.

Activities

Activities were both passive and participatory and included: an exhibition of the local area in the 1950s;
opportunities to explore 1950’s music culture; a tour of the site by a volunteer dressed up in 1950s attire;
stalls selling fresh produce from the allotments and 1950s inspired food; a range of children’s activities
including face painting and quizzes; 'allotmenteers' were on hand to give advice about all things
horticultural; service providers were also represented, for example, including an employment provider;
and there were also numerous opportunities for residents to discuss and share local knowledge,
heritage memories, recipes, anecdotes and stories.

Outputs

    In total, over 400 residents attended the event, with the project lead reporting that this included a
    broad cross section of the Shard End community.
    In excess of 50 local volunteers helped to deliver the event and man the stalls, car park etc.
    Based on the cost of organising and staffing the festival, the cost per head was only £3.00, which
    represents excellent value for money.

Outcomes

The main outcomes of the Festival of the Fifties are as follows:

    During the planning stages of the festival, BRAA made contact with the Neighbourhood Manager for




                                                  13
     Shard End, who helped to organise the festival but also provide links into organisations that could
     encourage different demographic groups to attend the festival. Subsequently, the Neighbourhood
     Manager has also put BRAA in contact with a local primary school (Gossey Lane), which has
     brought the children down to the allotment, as well as asked the allotmenteers to help the school
     develop their own allotment and gardening club.

     The Neighbourhood Manager reported that the festival attracted a broad cross section of the local
     society and helped to engender social cohesion. Feedback forms also revealed that the majority of
     attendees had never visited the allotment before, therefore promoting the use of green spaces and
     also healthy lifestyles (by talking to residents about the food that was produced at the allotment).

     As a result of the festival, BRAA has established links with other allotment groups in the area to
     create a local network and share information and good practice about growing different types of
     herbs and vegetables. As a consequence of this activity BRAA have also supported another local
     allotment group (Longmeadow Crescent) to reclaim their site, which was under-used and overgrown,
     therefore providing new plots for local people to cultivate. BRAA has also helped the allotment group
     to organise an open day to encourage greater resident engagement and participation.

 Added Value

 In the absence of the SGS, BRAA reported that the Festival of the Fifties would not have gone ahead.
 While they may have delivered a smaller scale open day, they certainly would not have established the
 partnership and links that they did and therefore would not have achieved their aims of reaching out into
 the community.

 Sustainability

 The project has helped to bond the organising committee, who met weekly for three months to plan for
 the festival. This provided them with additional skills and enabled them to meet and work with other
 partners which they had previously not been able to engage, for example the local library became a
 valuable resource and partner in ensuring the 1950s theme was authentic. This has stood BRAA in good
 stead for future activities. Following on from the success of the Festival of the Fifties, BRAA are looking
 to continue this as an annual event with different themes. They are also looking towards working with
 other allotment groups to join up activity and bid for funding.



2.11 Key Findings

In summary, the following key findings emerged through the evaluation of the SGS:

•   The SGS aimed to increase adult participation in sport and active recreation and close the gap between
    cultural participation in the four constituencies with low participation, as measured against the remaining six
    constituencies.




                                                   14
•   47 organisations expressed an interest in applying for funding, with 26 submitting a full application and 18
    eventually successful in securing SGS funding. The overall level of interest expressed in the SGS suggests
    that there is a latent demand amongst local organisations for funding for this type of cultural activity.


•   The SGS awarded £76,383 of funding across 18 projects. It is particularly impressive to report that SGS
    funded projects managed to secure a significant amount of additional funding. Many project leads also
    reported that securing WNF was critical in levering in these additional resources.


•   It is clear that in the absence of the SGS, many projects would simply not have gone ahead at all, or would
    have been scaled down both in terms of ambition and scale.


•   The majority of projects used SGS funding to pilot new activities and ways of working with particular target
    groups or to expand existing activities. In addition, most projects delivered activities free of charge, in order
    to encourage participation and attendance, and therefore needed to draw on public funding to help pay for
    the development and delivery costs.


•   The SGS has clearly increased participation levels in cultural activity in the four priority constituencies by
    funding a broad range of cultural activities that have largely been delivered in community facilities and
    public spaces.


•   The SGS has seen most impact in terms of the achievement of social and cultural outcomes. The level of
    WNF allocated was regarded as being too small to have a noticeable impact on economic outcomes such
    as job creation and safeguarding, although project leads did report that the activities delivered had helped to
    strengthen and promote the creative economy more broadly.


•   SGS projects used culture as a 'tool' or 'lever' to bring together different demographic groups within a
    community to promote social cohesion and there is evidence that project activity has potentially improved
    community capacity to deliver future events and stimulated the level of volunteering at the local level.


• The SGS projects contributed to the LAA target to close the gap in cultural participation across Birmingham.
    However, as the work was on a very small scale (in terms of finances and geography), the extent to which
    increased engagement and participation was sustained beyond the WNF is largely unclear. As a result, a
    noticeable improvement in respect of the LAA targets is unlikely to be evident.

•   Raising the profile of cultural organisations in the target communities, as well as stimulating new partnership
    working, and potentially impacting on volunteering levels for both cultural and non-cultural activities has
    been a key outcome.


•   Activities and events have generally had a temporary impact on improving the quantity and quality of
    cultural provision; however, there are examples of projects helping to stimulate bigger and potentially more
    long lasting improvements. There are also numerous examples of ‘spin off’ activities taking place as a
    result of piloting new activities.




                                                    15
•   In the majority of cases it appears to be the case that project leads have or plan to hold exploratory
    meetings with development and delivery partners to discuss ‘what next?’ Understandably many lead
    partners are currently unsure about whether projects or activities will be repeated (at least in their current
    form). Although positively, some project leads and development and delivery partners are already bidding
    for further funding to repeat activities and events or develop new ones.




                                                    16
3.0 Emerging Festivals Fund
This chapter reviews the Emerging Festival Fund (EFF), which provided grant support to eight projects.
Application forms and evaluation templates submitted by all of the grant recipients to BCP were reviewed and
telephone consultations with representatives from six of the projects were conducted.


3.1 Logic Model

The following diagram summarises the logic model for the EFF. Further details are provided in the following
sections.

Figure 3.1 EFF Logic Model




                                                  17
3.2 Objectives and Need

Festivals play a valuable role in developing creative and vibrant cities.            Birmingham's Festival Strategy6
highlights that the city already has a range of emerging, niche and community festivals which play an important
role locally and regionally. However, it also recognises that these festivals need enhanced support to flourish
and develop and have greater impact at both a national and international level.

In light of this, the overarching purpose of the EFF, as set out in the programme prospectus, was to provide
seed funding for new and emerging independent festivals that can demonstrate the potential to become niche
events and in turn, contribute to the achievement of the LAA Outcome 17 – to raise Birmingham's profile to
attract more people, trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport
and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities, programme and activities
locally. This corresponds to Birmingham's LAA target for improving visitor perceptions of the city.

More specifically, the stated objectives of the EFF were to contribute significantly to economic impact, visitor
numbers or media profile for Birmingham by improving the quality and quantity of the artistic programme offered
in Birmingham and by developing audiences, especially amongst groups which are under-represented amongst
arts festival audiences.


3.3 Inputs

During the summer of 2009, BCP submitted an application for £560,499 of WNF resources to support
Birmingham festivals. Of this total funding, £40,000 was forecast to be allocated to grants for the EEF and it
was envisaged that up to 10 grants, each in the region of £500 to £5,000 would be awarded.

Table 3.1 sets out the values of the WNF grants awarded under the EFF. It shows that just under £40,000 was
awarded across eight projects, with the value of each grant ranging from £3,000 up to £5,000.

The table also indicates that the total cost of delivering these festivals was actually much higher, ranging from a
total cost of £12,970 to £50,300. On average, the WNF contributed 18% of the total costs. The additional
funding came from a variety of sources including the core delivery organisation, sponsorship, fundraising and
ticket sales. One project also secured funding from the Arts Council England and most of the projects
benefitted from in-kind contributions made by the grant holder and/or partners. Prior to securing WNF, some
projects already had other funding in place (e.g. the Harmonic Festival) whereas in other instances (e.g. the BE
Festival and the Simmer Down Festival), the WNF support enabled organisations to lever additional funding.

Table 3.1 EFF Project Funding
                                                                                                           WNF as %
                                                                              Other
            Festival                  Organisation              WNF                         Total Cost      of Total
                                                                             Funding
                                                                                                             Cost

 The Harmonic Festival         Birmingham Jazz                 £3,000         £12,895        £15,895          19%

 Visualise Festival            Gallery 37 Foundation           £4,800         £45,500        £50,300          10%


   6
       Birmingham's Festival Strategy 2008-2012, 2008, Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England West Midlands




                                                       18
                                                                                                                       WNF as %
                                                                                          Other
            Festival                       Organisation                   WNF                             Total Cost    of Total
                                                                                         Funding
                                                                                                                         Cost

 BE Festival                       Stan's Café / BE Theatre              £5,000           £23,174          £28,174          18%

 Slaying the Dragon                Traditional Arts Foundation           £4,891           £8,079           £12,970          38%

 Inside Out Festival               Friction Arts                         £5,000           £11,675          £16,675          30%

 Flyover Show                      Nu Century Arts                       £5,000           £23,500          £28,500          18%

 Simmer Down                       The Drum                              £5,000           £15,338          £20,338          25%

 Union Black Film Festival         Kinky Hair Community Arts             £5,000           £31,200          £36,200          14%

 Total                                                                  £37,691          £171,361         £209,052          18%

Source: EFF project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


3.4 Activities

The main focus of the EFF activities was the delivery of festivals, which covered a range of art forms, as
highlighted in the following table. In respect of music, the festivals covered Jazz, Reggae and African-
Caribbean music. Slaying the Dragon incorporated a variety of art forms including storytelling, dance, and
traditional song. Of the festivals supported by the EFF, four of the festivals were launched in 2010, one brought
together a series of independent events, and three were emerging (i.e. in their second or third year of delivery).

Table 3.2 Art Forms
 Main Art Form                      Number of Projects              Projects

                                                                    Harmonic (Birmingham Jazz)
 Music                                         3                    Simmer Down Festival (The Drum)
                                                                    Flyover Show (Nu Century Arts)

                                                                    Visualise Festival (Gallery 37)
 Visual Art                                    2
                                                                    Inside Out festival (Friction Arts)

 Theatre                                       1                    BE Festival (Stan's Café / BE Theatre)

 Film                                          1                    Black Union Film Festival (Kinky Hair Community Arts)

 Combined Arts                                 1                    Slaying the Dragon (Traditional Arts Foundation)
Source: BCP records


In addition to the main performances, the festivals typically included a range of wider activities, which added to
the diversity of the offer. For example the Simmer Down Festival which focussed on music, also included a
series of workshops, graffiti art and street dancing; the Union Black Film Festival included panel discussions
following the film screenings; the Inside Out Festival included an art trail; and the BE Festival which focussed on
theatre also offered live music and cabaret from local and international bands. What is more, some
organisations delivered activities prior to the main festival. For example, the Simmer Down Festival was
launched with a talk by a founder member of Steel Pulse plus two education days for local schools. Similarly, in
the run up to the Flyover Show, a number of workshops in local schools and youth centres were delivered.




                                                               19
3.5 Outputs

The following table summarises headline output information. It shows that across the eight projects, festivals
were offered across a total of 33 days, attracted an estimated 12,895 individuals and involved 349 artists. The
audience figures do need to be treated with some care as many are estimates, based on headcounts. In
addition, as part of the Visualise Festival there was public showcasing of art work, for example on billboards and
phone kiosks. Based on footfall figures for the areas in which the art was showcased, it was estimated that over
                                    7
5 million people viewed the art .

Table 3.3 EFF Outputs
                                                                                                                    Number of
 Festival /              Festival                                                                                     artists
                                         Additional activities / events                  Audience
 Organisation            duration                                                                                  taking part /
                                                                                                                    performing

 The Harmonic
 Festival
                          4 days                                                             950                        60
 (Birmingham
 Jazz)

                                                                                            6,050
 Visualise festival                         Wider events and activities
                                                                                  (2,021 attended the main
 (Gallery 37              11 days       included exhibitions, talks, events                                             17
                                                                              exhibition and 4,029 attended the
 Foundation)                                  and touring workshops
                                                                                 wider events and activities)

                                                                                             300
 BE Festival
                                         8 workshops, a Feedback Café         (70 other individuals taking part,
 (Stan's Café / BE        4 days                                                                                       110
                                          and BE Next (a youth project)           e.g. volunteers, BE Next
 Theatre)
                                                                                        participants)

 Slaying the
 Dragon
                          5 days                                                             480                        20
 (Traditional Arts
 Foundation)

 Inside Out
 Festival (Friction       3 days                                                             577                        37
 Arts)

                                                                                             1,200
                                        4 workshops in the lead up to the      (1000 attended the main festival
 Flyover Show (Nu          1 day                                                                                        19
                                                    festival                  and an estimated 200 participated
 Century Arts)                                                                        in the workshops)

                                                                                           2,940
 The Simmer                             1 concert, 1 talk and 2 education     (2000 attended the main festival
 Down Festival             1 day                                                                                        76
                                             days for local schools           and 940 attended the additional
 (The Drum)                                                                              activities)

 Union Black Film
 Festival (Kinky          4 days                                                             328                        10
 Hair Community



   7
       This figure has been excluded from the table as it is an estimate based on footfall data.




                                                            20
                                                                                                       Number of
 Festival /               Festival                                                                       artists
                                           Additional activities / events          Audience
 Organisation             duration                                                                    taking part /
                                                                                                       performing

 Arts)

 Total                    33 days                          -                        12,895                349

Source: EFF project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


3.6 Outcomes

3.6.1 Economic
Strengthened and promoted the creative economy

The festivals provided an opportunity for new and upcoming artists to showcase their work alongside other local,
national and international artists. As an example, the Harmonic Festival provided an opportunity for artists to
perform at a festival for the first time. One group has since gone on to play at the Manchester Jazz Festival and
at Supersonic. In addition, two bands are using recordings and photos from Harmonic as press packs for future
gigs outside Birmingham. Similarly, a young choreographer who was involved in previous Flyover Shows as an
emerging performer returned in 2010 with her own dance piece devised specifically for the show. Supporting
young artists was also a key component of Visualise, which offered two bursary awards to young visual artists.

Increased the profile and reputation of Birmingham

By raising awareness of the cultural diversity offered in Birmingham, the emerging festivals did play some role in
increasing the profile and reputation of Birmingham. Along with local audience members and artists, the
festivals also attracted visitors and artists from outside the city which helped to enhance the reputation of
Birmingham. Commonly, the festivals explored the cultural identity of the city, which helped to enhance its
reputation. For example, the Simmer Down Festival focussed on the rich history of Reggae in Birmingham. In
addition, as part of Visualise, an artist engaged with members of the general public to find out what was
important to them about Birmingham. This led to the creation of a mural based on the landmarks and venues
renowned to people living in Birmingham, plus those from outside of the region.

Increased visitors and supported the wider economy

The emerging festivals primarily attracted audiences from across Birmingham or the surrounding areas.
Notwithstanding this, the involvement of high profile artists, plus wider marketing and promotion did attract some
audience members from further afield. For example, the Inside Out Festival worked with students from
Coventry University. What is more, the Harmonic Festival targeted audiences from outside Birmingham, as well
as local residents, for the more formal events.




                                                               21
3.6.2 Social
Increased community cohesion

A number of the EFF projects contributed to community cohesion. This was primarily achieved by offering a
diverse range of cultural activities in the local neighbourhoods. As an example, the Simmer Down Festival was
delivered in Handsworth Park, which is situated in very multi-cultural area. A key aim of the festival was to bring
communities together and this was achieved by delivering a programme that was rooted in the art forms of the
specific communities from Perry Barr and Ladywood, offering a programme of diverse activities and providing
cultural activities in the neighbourhood. In addition, the Inside Out Festival aimed to bring people together from
Highgate and Digbeth, which are new and older communities that are economically and culturally divided. Of
particular note, the festival included an art trail which encouraged people to explore art in both of these areas.

Increased cultural engagement / participation

All of the festivals sought to increase cultural engagement and participation. This was achieved in a variety of
ways as highlighted below:

• In particular, WNF allowed the festivals to offer most, if not all, of their activities and events free of charge.
   The Harmonic Festival noted that some individuals attended the free events and then as a result of this
   engagement went on to attend the paid concerts as well.


• The location of the festivals was also key to increasing cultural engagement and participation. As
   highlighted above, some festivals were delivered in local neighbourhoods in order to encourage new
   audiences to engage.


• In other cases, festivals attracted different audiences by using new and alternative venues, for example the
   Harmonic Festival attracted a younger audience by selecting venues that appeal to this age group. In
   addition, Gallery 37 adopted a very public showcase of the art developed as part of their activities by putting
   work onto phone kiosks, bus shelters and billboards across the city.


• In addition, the artists that performed as part of the festivals were key to stimulating wide engagement;
   Sonic Asylum performed as part of the Inside Out Festival and as a result their music audience came along
   and participated in the wider festival.


• Involving local communities in the development of the festivals was also key. Kinky Hair Community Arts
   ran a media project in Aston (not funded through the EFF), which filmed a community documentary with a
   group for girls which was based in the area and this was screened at the Union Black Film Festival. The film
   screenings were held in central locations across the city and for individuals from the community groups that
   they worked with that wished to attend, their travel was subsidised.


• The festivals also used a range of marketing approaches to engage new audiences, for example using the
   web and social media channels, undertaking targeted distributions of flyers and working with local
   community organisations. The Flyover Show also did several public performances in Birmingham City
   Centre to promote the festival and delivered a number of workshops in local schools and youth centres in the




                                                     22
   lead up the show, thus introducing young people to the show and breaking down any barriers that might
   prevent them from attending.


Developed capacity and skills among local residents

Volunteers were an integral part of all of the emerging festivals. For example, a team of 30 event volunteers
helped to deliver the Flyover Show and in addition, they worked with a range of local individuals and
organisations during the planning stages. In turn, this helped to root the show in the local community and
encouraged them to take greater ownership of the event. At least 15 volunteers contributed to the Inside Out
Festival and at least five volunteers supported the Union Black Film Festival.

Many of the festivals, for example the Simmer Down Festival and Slaying the Dragon, offered workshops to
provide an opportunity for audiences to enhance their skills. In addition, the Union Black Film Festival provided
an opportunity for audiences to take part in panel discussion following the films screened, which featured
representatives from major broadcasters and film funding bodies. This gave the audiences an opportunity to
learn more about the films they saw.

A crucial element of Visualise was the collaboration between the adult festival coordinators and a group of
young people aged between 18 and 24 years who lived in Birmingham. As part of the project, five young people
undertook a hands-on training programme that enabled them to develop the necessary skills and knowledge in
                                                               8
order to curate strands of the festival. The evaluation report for this project noted that through this experience
the young people gained leadership skills, knowledge and understanding of curating an exhibition, experience of
the visual art sector and opportunities for future networking, employment and showcasing.

3.6.3 Cultural
Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

The WNF enhanced organisations' capacity to deliver festivals across Birmingham. In a number of instances,
new cultural organisations were established in order to deliver festivals (e.g. BE Theatre); the individuals
involved in these organisations enhanced a range of skills as they organised a festival for the first time. In other
cases, the projects enabled organisations to strengthen their festivals (e.g. The Flyover Show). The festivals
also provided an opportunity for artists to enhance their skills and experience, for example amateur and semi-
professional story-tellers and folk singers were able to practice their craft in front of live audiences and their
peers during Slaying the Dragon. In addition, the BE Festival incorporated a Feedback Café into its project,
which encouraged individuals to discuss the performances and offer one another ideas and suggestions to
develop their work.

Increased / improved collaborations

The EFF also stimulated a range of collaborations between the core delivery organisation and other cultural
organisations, community groups and artists. All of the festivals worked with partners to offer a high quality and
diverse cultural event.       In particular, Slaying the Dragon provided an opportunity to organise a series of


   8
       Visualise Festival 2010 Report




                                                     23
individual events as a co-ordinated festival group. What is more, Friction noted that as a result of their festival
they have built partnerships that would otherwise have been much more difficult to establish. In addition,
through their work they have generated a better understanding of the local area. What is more, organisations
have also established links with organisations outside Birmingham, for example Kinky Hair Community Arts built
links with film organisations outside the Midlands and the BE Festival involved artists from overseas.

Improved the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision

WNF provided an opportunity for organisations to address gaps in cultural provision or increase the diversity of
Birmingham's cultural offer. For example the BE Festival sought to address a gap in respect of theatre festivals
and the Harmonic Festival sought to develop an event that provided an opportunity for young, creative jazz
musicians living and working in Birmingham who were under-represented by the Birmingham International Jazz
Festival.

Audience figures also highlighted that the diversity of the festivals offered meant that a range of audiences were
engaged. For example, by looking at the ethnic breakdown of audiences, it shows that the Harmonic Festival
primarily attracted a white audience, whereas it is estimated that less than 20% of the Flyover audience was
white. In addition, the Union Black Film Festival engaged many individuals from the Black British community.

Many projects also noted that the WNF support had enabled them to improve the quality of their festival, for
example by enabling them to invite higher profile artists or by allowing them to offer a wider range of activities.

Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

The festivals have all improved access to cultural activities. This was principally achieved in two ways; firstly
the organisations delivered cultural activities in more accessible locations and secondly, the WNF contribution
enabled them to offer cultural activities free-of-charge or at affordable prices.

The WNF also supported festivals in their marketing, which successfully raised their profile. Many festivals
posted videos and photographs online and used social media to raise awareness of their work among a much
wider audience. For example Gallery 37 recorded 2,045 unique visitors to their website for the Visualise
Festival. Friction also felt that their project provided an opportunity for other cultural organisations to better
understand their contemporary practice.


3.7 Added Value

The emerging festivals have highlighted that the WNF offered considerable added value. It enabled many of
them to establish a new festival, and for some to strengthen a festival that has only been operating for a few
years. At least three festivals (the BE Festival, the Simmer Down Festival and the Black Union Film Festival)
would not have happened at all without WNF. For others, the WNF played a key role in enabling them to attract
nationally or internationally recognised artists and offer a wider range of activities, thus adding to their overall
cultural offer and the profile of their event. In many cases, WNF also enabled organisations to undertake
greater work with local communities in order to stimulate wider engagement.




                                                    24
3.8 Sustainability of Outcomes

All of the organisations hope to continue their festivals in the future; however the availability of funding will be a
significant factor. One festival, in particular, noted that they would like to repeat their festival but at the current
time they have a lack of funds to do so. Notwithstanding these challenges, at least four festivals already have
plans underway for a festival in 2011, whilst another one is still at the early stages of identifying potential funding
sources.

Simmer Down is planning a festival for 2011 and is currently discussing the potential to deliver a festival in 2012
that ties in with the Jamaican Olympics team's stay in Birmingham. In addition, the Flyover Show has a number
of high profile artists offering to perform at the festival in 2011 and they have been asked to run a Flyover Show
in India in 2011. They hope that this will enable them to develop links with the Birmingham show through the
sharing and exchange of young artists from both countries.

Finally, in the future, all the organisations plan to undertake further work with the partners and artists that they
collaborated with during the festival.


3.9 Return on Investment

As highlighted in Figure 3.2, the EFF is considered to have generated a good return on investment, for the
following reasons:

• As highlighted previously, an investment of £37,691 of WNF was supported by over £170,000 of additional
   funding. The projects also generated a significant amount of in-kind investment that was contributed by both
   the main delivery organisation and their partners.


• Total funding of £209,052 generated an estimated audience of 12,825, which breaks down to an average
   unit cost of just over £16 per person. The unit cost per festival ranged from just under £7 per person
   (Simmer Down Festival) to around £100 per person (Union Black Film Festival). However, it is important to
   note that one of the strengths of the EFF was the diversity of festivals that were generated and therefore
   direct comparisons on unit costs per person cannot easily be made between festivals. For example, the
   Union Black Film Festival faced a reduction in funding from other sources and therefore opted to reduce the
   quantity of screenings rather than the quality. They also focussed on engaging the African-Caribbean
   community from the four priority constituencies, which typically have low levels of cultural engagement.




                                                     25
Figure 3.2 EFF Average Unit Costs (based on total funding secured)

   £120.00                                                                                                        £110.37

   £100.00                                                                                             £93.91


    £80.00

    £60.00

    £40.00                                                                                 £28.90
                                                                    £23.75     £27.02
                                        £16.30      £16.73
    £20.00                   £8.31
                 £6.92

       £0.00
                Simmer     Visualise     EFF       Harmonic         Flyover   Slaying the Inside Out BE Festival   Union
                 Dow n     Festival    Average      Festival         Show       Dragon      Festival             Black Film
                Festival                                                                                          Festival


Source: EFF evaluation reports and project interviews


3.10 Case Study

A key challenge for the EFF is that new organisations struggle to obtain funding due to application
requirements9. The following case study highlights how, with the backing of a more established organisation,
the EFF has played a key role in developing a new festival in Birmingham.


 Project: BE Festival
 Lead organisation: Stan's Café and BE Theatre

 Objectives

 In November 2009, BE Festival's Directors attended a conference entitled 'The Challenge of Change:
 How can we make a better future for theatre, here in the West Midlands?" Building on their experiences
 touring work around European festivals, the directors decided to establish the BE Festival. The overall
 aim was to promote cultural interchange between Birmingham and Europe through an event uniting
 professional performance, educational opportunities and entertainment. BE Festival worked in
 partnership with Stan's Café to deliver the festival.

 Inputs

 The total project cost just over £28,000, of which £5,000 was secured from the EFF. The remaining
 funding came from BE Theatre, sponsorship, fundraising, in-kind support and sales (e.g. box office, bar
 sales, programmes, restaurant).




   9
       For example, organisations are required to provide audited accounts for two previous financial years.




                                                               26
Activities

The BE Festival brought 15 companies from 8 countries across Europe (including the UK) to perform
original theatre pieces lasting around 30 minutes, in Birmingham. To complement the main theatre
programme, the festival also: offered live music and cabaret from local and international bands, a
special dancing and clubbing performance with Karnival, as well as a special dinner performance by a
local theatre company; delivered 8 workshops taught by 6 specialists from all over the world, which
were open to visiting artists, volunteers and audience members; ran the Feedback Café, which provided
an opportunity for performers and audience members to come together to discuss the previous night's
shows and there was a panel-led discussion held; and delivered a festival youth initiative, BE Next,
which brought together a group of twenty 15-19 year olds to participate in four afternoons of theatre
workshops, followed by a performance.

Outputs

In total, the four day festival worked with sixteen companies from across Europe, and three bands. It
attracted 300 audience members, 110 artists, plus another 70 participants for example volunteers, jury
members and workshop-leaders, and BE Next.

Outcomes

Stimulated collaborations: the project stimulated a partnership between BE Festival and Stan's Café.
The format of the event, for example the inclusion of the workshops and the Feedback Café, also
provided an opportunity for networking and collaboration, which led to new creative relationships being
formed between companies.

Developed capacity and skills: as a new organisation, the project provided an opportunity for BE Festival
to explore and develop its organisation's internal structure and to improve their skills in a wide variety of
areas. It also helped Stan's Café in undertaking audience development on the site. The professional
training workshops provided an opportunity for participants and audience members to develop their skills
and in addition, opportunities to discuss the performances encouraged artists to offer one another ideas
and suggestions to develop their work. Furthermore, 23 volunteers, many of which were students from
the Birmingham University School of Acting, supported the festival and gained valuable work
experience.

Raising the profile of cultural organisations: the festival was held at @ A E Harris and played a key role
in raising the profile of the venue. The project also enhanced Stan's Café's reputation as a company
willing to support other artists. The BE Festival secured coverage on Midlands Today, BBC Radio WM
and was also the subject of an article in the Birmingham Post.

Engaging new audiences: although the main festival tended to attract regular theatre-goers, the young
people that participated in BE Next were largely from ethnic minority groups and priority
neighbourhoods. These young people, and their families, constituted a new audience group.

Attracting visitors: Most of the participating artists were from overseas, and none of them had visited or




                                                   27
 worked in Birmingham before. What is more, around half stayed in city centre accommodation.

 Added Value

 Without the EFF grant, the project would not have happened. What is more, it gave the Festival the
 resources and confidence to seek further funding. The support enabled the Festival to be successfully
 delivered in a professional way and stimulated the formation of many meaningful partnerships and
 relationships within the region. It also allowed the Festival to fully realise their ambition of providing the
 BE Next programme for local young people, offer free workshops for audiences and performers; and
 keep the ticket prices affordable.

 Sustainability

 Plans to host the BE Festival in 2011 are already underway and the number of applications received
 from performers is over four times higher than in 2010. The organisation is continuing to build upon the
 partnerships developed during the 2010 festival and has since formed a new partnership with the
 International Young Makers' Exchange (IYME), which is a collaboration between 10 international theatre
 festivals in Europe. To support this work, the BE Festival has been awarded a grant from the
 Birmingham City Council's International Development Fund to enable them to travel to fellow festivals.
 Moreover, in 2012, BE Festival will host the IYME meeting in Birmingham.

 Challenges

 As a new organisation, BE Festival was unable to apply for an EFF grant. To overcome this issue, the
 organisation worked in partnership with Stan's Café. Engaging individuals that were not regular theatre-
 goers was also challenging and in the future they hope to invest more resources in spending time
 engaging directly with these communities and developing more targeted marketing materials.




3.11 Key Findings

In summary, the following key findings emerged through the evaluation of the EFF:

• The EFF provided seed funding to new and emerging festivals that could demonstrate the potential to
   become niche events. It was hoped that the festivals would contribute significantly to economic impact,
   visitor numbers or media profile for Birmingham by improving the quality and quantity of the artistic
   programme offered in Birmingham and by developing audiences.


• Just under £40,000 was awarded across eight projects, with the value of each grant ranging from £3,000 up
   to £5,000. However, on average, the WNF constituted 18% of the total project costs, thus demonstrating
   that a high level of additional funding was also secured.


• In terms of outputs, the EFF supported the delivery of eight projects that offered festivals across a total of 33
   days, attracted 12,895 individuals and involved 349 artists.




                                                    28
• Many of the festivals attracted individuals from Birmingham or the surrounding area, however some
   audience members, plus artists, travelled from further afield. There is limited evidence of the wider
   economic impact of the emerging festivals but organisations felt that their work enhanced the reputation of
   Birmingham and emphasised the cultural identity of the city.


• All of the festivals successfully increased cultural engagement and participation and a number of festivals
   also supported community cohesion. Volunteering was an integral part of all of the festivals and many
   offered workshops for audience members to enhance their skills.


• The EFF has improved the quality and quantity of cultural provision and has strengthened the cultural sector,
   for example by supporting the creation of a number of new organisations and new festivals, by strengthening
   existing organisations and festivals, by providing an opportunity for new and upcoming artists to showcase
   and develop their work, and by stimulating greater partnership working.


• The emerging festivals have highlighted that the WNF offered considerable added value. At least three
   festivals would not have gone ahead without WNF and for the remainder it enabled them to increase the
   quality and/or scale of their offer.


• On average, the unit cost per person was just over £16. The unit cost per festival ranged from just under £7
   per person (Simmer Down Festival) to around £100 per person (Union Black Film Festival).


• All of the organisations hope to continue their festivals in the future and at least four organisations already
   have plans underway for a 2011 festival. In addition, in the future, they all plan to build on the new
   partnerships that have been created.




                                                    29
4.0 Festivals Challenge Fund
This chapter reviews the Festivals Challenge Fund (FCF), which provided grant support to seven projects.
Application forms and evaluation templates submitted by all of the grant recipients were reviewed and telephone
consultations with representatives from six of the projects were conducted.


4.1 Logic Model

The following diagram summarises the logic model for the FCF. Further details are provided in the following
sections.

Figure 4.1 FCF Logic Model




                                                  30
4.2 Objectives and Need

Festivals play a valuable role in developing creative and vibrant cities.            Birmingham's Festival Strategy10
highlights that Birmingham's cultural infrastructure is second only to London and should therefore be nurtured
as a major asset. What is more, it emphasises that festivals should have long-term strategic investment to build
on existing strengths and generate direct economic benefits. However, festivals face a number of barriers to
development which include event planning (e.g. venues, infrastructure and lines of communication), PR and
marketing (e.g. regional media and visibility), and finance and administration (e.g. staffing, financial planning
and cultural policy)11.

The overarching purpose of the FCF, as set out in the programme prospectus, was to support independent
festivals which have the best potential of contributing to the achievement of the LAA Outcome 17 – to raise
Birmingham's profile to attract more people, trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events
across the cultural, sport and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities,
programme and activities locally. It also aimed to support Birmingham's Festivals Strategy which aims to
develop festivals and large scale events at the very highest international level, which in turn generate
considerable profile and economic benefits to the city and the West Midlands.

The overall aim of the FCF was to contribute to Birmingham's LAA target for improving visitor perceptions of the
city. More specifically, the objectives were to support:

•   Significantly improved quality and quantity of the artistic programme.
•   Collaborations enabling the exchange of skills.
•   Innovation and capacity development in the festivals sector.
•   Audience development, especially using digital technology.


4.3 Inputs

During the summer of 2009, BCP submitted an application for £560,499 of WNF resources to support
Birmingham festivals. Of this total funding, £161,100 was forecast to be allocated to grants under the FCF and
it was envisaged that 10 grants, each in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 would be awarded.

The following table sets out the values of WNF grants received under the FCF. It shows that £104,818 was
awarded across seven projects, with the value of each grant being around £15,000. In addition to their £15,000
grants, Fierce Festival, Flatpack Festival and Supersonic Festival all received a further £10,000 each which was
made available as a result of under-spend. This additional £30,000 was used to support their 2011 Festivals
and events. As a result data was not available in time for this research and therefore this activity has not been
included in the table below or in the overall assessment of the outputs and outcomes. The actual spend under
the FCF was slightly less than the forecasted budget; which was as a result of a number of festivals being
cancelled and some projects being unable to secure additional funding.




    10
         Birmingham's Festival Strategy 2008-2012, 2008, Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England West Midlands
    11
         Independent Festivals Group Needs Analysis, 2009, Birmingham City Council




                                                        31
The table also indicates that for many organisations the total cost of delivering the festivals was actually much
higher, extending up to a total cost of £184,000. The additional funding came from a variety of sources; Arts
Council England was a key source for many festivals but in addition funding came from other partners, the core
delivery organisation, sponsorship and ticket sales. In the majority of cases, WNF topped up a programme of
funding that was, either all or partly, secured already.

When considering the data in the following table, it is important to note that the projects have calculated their
total funding in a number of different ways, for example:

• The Birmingham Book Festival hosts an annual literature festival which costs around £80,000 to deliver. The
   costs provided in the table below for this festival only relate to the additional activities that were funded by
   the WNF. This was also the case for the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival and Rhubarb-
   Rhubarb.


• On the other hand, organisations such as Capsule, Flatpack and Punch, used the WNF to deliver activities
   that were much more of an integral (or cross-cutting) part of the whole event and have therefore provided
   total costs based on the entire festival.


Figure 4.2 FCF Project Funding
                                                                                                           WNF as %
                                                                                    Other
            Festival                       Organisation                   WNF                 Total Cost    of Total
                                                                                   Funding
                                                                                                             Cost

 Flatpack Festival 2010            Flatpack Festival                    £15,000    £93,568    £108,568       14%

 Bass Festival 2010                Punch                                £14,900    £64,540     £79,440       19%

 Walking As One
                                   Rhubarb-Rhubarb                      £15,000    £11,000     £26,000       58%
 Birmingham

 Birmingham International          Birmingham International
                                                                        £15,000    £11,435     £26,435       57%
 Jazz and Blues Festival           Jazz and Blues Festival

 Supersonic                        Capsule                              £15,000    £169,000   £184,000        8%

 Festival Extra / Audience
 Development Project               Birmingham Book Festival             £14,918     £1,992     £16,910       88%

 Fierce Festival                   Fierce Festival                      £15,000    £29,047     £44,047       34%

 Total                                                                 £104,818    £380,582   £485,400       22%

Source: FCF project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


4.4 Activities

The FCF supported the delivery of seven festivals; three of which primarily focussed on music, with the
remainder centring on literature, architecture, film and photography. WNF resources were used to fund new
developments or activity that added to the existing festival offer, for example the delivery of greater outreach




                                                               32
work with communities; offering additional events and activities free-of-charge to encourage participation;
attracting new or higher profile artists; and enhancing marketing strategies.

Table 4.1 Art Forms
 Main Art form            Number of projects     List of projects

                                                 Bass Festival (Punch)
 Music                             3             Supersonic Festival (Capsule)
                                                 Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival

 Literature                        1             Festival Extra (Birmingham Book Festival)

 Architecture                      1             Fierce Festival

 Film                              1             Flat Pack Festival

 Photography                       1             Walking as One Birmingham (Rhubarb-Rhubarb)
Source: BCP records


4.5 Outputs

The following table summarises headline output information. Given the diverse nature of the festivals, it has
been difficult, within the scope of this evaluation, to quantify the overall number of activities delivered. In terms
of audiences, it is estimated that the festivals attracted over 130,000 individuals. However, this figure is likely to
be much higher, particularly when the following are considered12:

• As part of their project, Rhubarb-Rhubarb displayed a photographic image (one metre high by 40 metres
   long) on the side of the Library of Birmingham for 8 weeks. During this time, it was estimated that 2 million
   people would see the image.


• Similarly, the Flatpack Festival estimated that over 15,000 people would view the installations that were
   established as part of their festival.


• In addition, the Supersonic Festival generated 3,900 online viewers.

Table 4.2 FCF Outputs
 Festival / Organisation                                 Core activities                             Audience

 Flatpack Festival 2010                       6 day festival with over 70 events and
                                                                                                       5,743
                                                            screenings

 Bass Festival 2010                              9 major events and 1 exhibition                       2,669

 Walking As One Birmingham                   1 walk, 1 exhibition and 1 public image                   1,261

 Birmingham International Jazz and           218 performance in 81 venues over 10
                                                                                                      115,677
 Blues Festival                                             days




   12
        For consistency, the following audience figures have been excluded from the table as they are estimates.




                                                         33
 Festival / Organisation                                      Core activities              Audience

 Supersonic                                         3 day festival involving almost 50
                                                                                             5,000
                                                                  bands

 Festival Extra / Audience Development           12 workshops, 1 overseas visit and the
 Project                                            attraction of approximately 6 high       1,025
                                                               profile writers

 Fierce Festival                                     1 week festival comprising a
                                                 programme of events, workshops and          1,500
                                                                 talks

                                                 At least 369 events / performances /
 Total                                                                                      132,875
                                                              exhibitions
Source: FCF project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


4.6 Outcomes

Care has to be taken when considering the outcomes from the FCF; as stated previously, some festivals
integrated the WNF activities into their overall festival and therefore the outcomes were generated as a result of
a much wider and larger package of funding. Wherever possible, the specific outcomes generated as a result of
WNF support have been highlighted.

4.6.1 Economic
Strengthened and promoted the creative economy

The festivals played a key role in strengthening and promoting the creative economy.          This was primarily
achieved by providing an opportunity for artists to showcase their work. For example, the Flatpack Festival
provided a platform for over 40 local artists working around Eastside and over 200 emerging filmmakers were
showcased through the screening programme. What is more, the festival included four new commissions.

As part of Festival Extra, which was delivered by the Birmingham Book Festival, the WNF supported an
overseas visit for the 2010-11 Birmingham Poet Laureate. The writer visited Amsterdam, where he was able to
meet publishers, event organisers, arts development workers and other writers, as well as perform there
himself. This visit enabled him to reach an international audience and helped to establish relationships that
could be built upon in the future.

Although there is no evidence that ongoing employment opportunities have been created, the festivals did
support a number of temporary employment posts, for example in the case of the Supersonic Festival which
provided 54 temporary opportunities and also supported three interns. Five interns worked on the Flatpack
Festival and the Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival provided an opportunity for one placement student.

Increased the profile and reputation of Birmingham

A key objective of the FCF was to increase the profile and reputation of Birmingham.          This was primarily
achieved through media coverage of the festivals which also made reference to the city. Flatpack commented
that the national coverage of their festival exceeded their expectations – the festival secured coverage in 11




                                                               34
printed articles (including the Times and the Guardian), 19 online articles (including Wired UK and Dazed
Digital) and 150 blogs. In addition, some of the festival was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. An example of how this
coverage helped to increase the reputation of Birmingham was evident when Time Out London wrote the
following:

"Suggesting Londoners go to Brum for a weekend doesn't come naturally. But Flatpack Festival might make us
break the habit of a lifetime".

Walking as One Birmingham secured coverage in seven printed articles (including the British Journal of
Photography) and Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival was supported by two features on BBC WM and one on
ITV Central.

With FCF support, plus other funding, all of the festivals sought to offer a unique and high quality festival that
would enhance the profile of Birmingham as a city of culture and in turn, encourage visitors. Fierce also
endeavoured to make the identity of the city more visible by delivering their activities on a site adjacent to the
railway line.

Increased visitors and supported the wider economy

In addition to attracting audiences from Birmingham and the surrounding areas, all of the festivals have
established national reputations and therefore attract visitors from further afield. The Birmingham International
Jazz and Blues Festival attracted a number of international artists from overseas. It also noted that 38% of their
audience was from Birmingham, 44% was from the West Midlands, 12% was from the rest of the UK and 6%
were from overseas. What is more 8% of their audience was found to be staying in a hotel or B&B, spending on
average £69 per night for accommodation. In addition, the Supersonic Festival reported that their international
audience increased between 2009 and 2010, from 10% to 15%. Alongside local artists, many of the festivals
also attracted artists from outside Birmingham, including those from overseas.

4.6.2 Social
Increased cultural engagement / participation

A key element of the festivals was audience development and there is a range of evidence to suggest that the
festivals successfully engaged new audiences, for example:

• Compared to 2009, the Flatpack Festival saw a 21% increase in attendees and audience surveys found that
   nearly half of the audience had not attended a Flatpack event before.


• Similarly, the Supersonic Festival reported that 44% of the audience had not previously attended the festival.

• In addition, 31% of Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival attendees had not previously attended and 85% of
   the total audience intended to visit the 2011 festival.


A key mechanism, which was supported by WNF, was to offer events and activities free-of-charge. In addition,
festivals showcased work in public places, thus enabling them to reach wider audiences. For example the
Flatpack Festival erected installations in public spaces, as part of Walking As One Birmingham, a photographic




                                                    35
image was displayed on the side of the Library of Birmingham and the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues
Festival presented a series of open concerts throughout the city centre at peak footfall times. Festivals also
commonly sought to use a wider range of venues. In addition, the Flatpack Festival enhanced their family and
education programme.

There was some evidence that the festivals sought to specifically engage residents from the four priority
constituencies but this was primarily through their marketing activities, for example targeted leaflet drops, or by
engaging community organisations based in the neighbourhoods. The festivals all reported a high use of online
technology, such as their own websites and social media (e.g. facebook and twitter) to engage wider audiences.
As an example, the WNF supported the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival in reaching a new
overseas audience through a live link up with Radio WRFG in Atlanta, Georgia. 2010 was the first year the
festival added 'Blues' to its title and this station was the winner of the Award for Best Blues Radio Station USA.
The festival broadcast daily live into the Atlanta station's peak-listening breakfast show. The festival also added
film from 14 festival sessions onto the worldwide festivals IPTV channel. On the whole online mechanisms
proved very successful in engaging wider audiences. However, Walking As One Birmingham did find that the
use of online technology as a mechanism to sign up for cultural activities actually resulted in a much less
diverse audience.

One project, Festival Extra delivered by the Birmingham Book Festival, delivered targeted activities in the
priority constituencies. The WNF enabled them to deliver approximately 12 neighbourhood writing groups that
worked with community groups who had never been to literature events or taken part in writing workshops
before. In addition, the Bass Festival targeted BME audiences and those not currently engaged in festivals by
working with community champions, undertaking street marketing and using online resources.

Developed capacity and skills among local residents

On the whole, the festivals supported by the FCF were more likely to support capacity and skills development
within the creative sector rather than local residents. Notwithstanding this, a number of projects did play a role
in up-skilling local residents. Through their neighbourhood writing groups, Festival Extra worked with several
individuals who were completely illiterate and managed to encourage them to write through a helper. Similarly,
the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival offered a vocal workshop and master-class in choral
singing.

4.6.3 Cultural
Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

All of the organisations involved in the FCF have found value in the work which was funded by FCF. The FCF
provided opportunities for festivals to develop new areas of work, which in turn has enhanced their capacity and
skills. For Rhubarb-Rhubarb, the FCF provided an opportunity for the organisation to enhance their
participation work by developing an innovative digital project. The Festival Director at the Birmingham Book
Festival also commented that as a result of the FCF, they are better placed to engage with other festivals in the
city and to connect with other literature festivals nationwide, focussing on skills sharing, networking and joint
programming. In addition, a representative from the Fierce Festival stated that they have developed a better
understanding of the city, how it operates and the range of organisations that work there.




                                                   36
Many festivals worked with students, either through specific project activities or through volunteering
opportunities. The Flatpack Festival worked with Birmingham City University to provide an opportunity for
students to gain valuable work experience. In addition, as part of the Fierce Festival, 15 students from Castle
Vale and Erdington took part in one week of work experience where they learnt skills in making timber furniture
and 200 students attended a lecture that was offered as part of the run up to the Festival. Some festivals also
offered workshops and master-classes, which helped to up-skill individuals for example, as part of the Bass
Festival, a series of professional development master-classes with high profile urban artists were delivered.

All of the festivals worked with volunteers, which provided an opportunity for the volunteers to gain new skills
whilst supporting the delivery of the festival. The Flatpack Festival worked with over 60 volunteers, largely from
within the West Midlands, whereas other festivals, for example Supersonic, attracted 69 volunteers from all over
the country who, in total, dedicated 129 days of their time to assist in the development and delivery of the
festival. As noted, some festivals, including the Flatpack Festival and the Supersonic Festival, also appointed
interns to support their festival whilst providing an opportunity for individuals to develop their skills.

As highlighted earlier, the FCF has also helped festivals to increase their digital presence and create an
increased online audience base.

Increased / improved collaborations

Collaboration with partners has been a key part of all of the festivals, for example Flatpack noted that their
strong links with festivals regionally and internationally were crucial to the success of their 2010 festival and a
highly collaborative approach plays a fundamental role in enabling the Supersonic Festival to engage wider
audiences. The FCF has enabled many organisations to work with new partners to increase the diversity of
their offer, raise the profile of their organisation and engage new audiences. For example, the Flatpack Festival
had a guest programme from other festivals including Darklight in Dublin and Glasgow Film Festival, and the
Fierce Festival worked with Birmingham City University and MADE for the first time. All the festivals hope to
develop these partnerships in the future.

Collaboration between artists also enabled them to learn from one another and exchange skills. The Flatpack
Festival offers a day (the 'Unpacked Day') to bring artists and filmmakers from different disciplines together to
discuss their practice and share ideas.

Improved the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision

FCF provided an opportunity for established festivals to incorporate new activities or attract new artists that
would improve the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision in Birmingham. Through the FCF, Punch
produced one newly commissioned theatre piece, one major new visualisation arts installation and eight newly
commissioned pieces of work. For Birmingham Book Festival, the FCF enabled them to attract approximately
three high profile writers and three international writers, plus run several additional events in addition to the
standard programme. Similarly, the Flatpack Festival used the funding to offer a programme that comprised
more international work and a greater number of commissions. In addition, the Birmingham International Jazz
and Blues Festival expanded its festival to officially introduce a comprehensive Blues element. Importantly, the
FCF played a key role in supporting a unique and high quality festival offer in Birmingham.




                                                    37
Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

The use of digital technology to promote festivals is increasing and in light of this, many festivals developed their
online presence, for example their own websites, online ticketing systems and through social media channels.
The festivals also secured a wide range of regional and national media coverage, which helped to raise
awareness of their work. However, Flatpack did note that although their national marketing strategy was very
successful, they did not achieve the city-wide visibility that they hoped for. The innovative nature of the FCF
project delivered by Rhubarb-Rhubarb helped to grow the reputation of the organisation and the FCF work
delivered by the Birmingham Book Festival has encouraged Neighbourhood Managers and others to see writing
as a tool for engagement.


4.7 Added Value

Without the FCF, all of the festivals would still have gone ahead. However the funding enabled the festivals to
strengthen their offer by delivering additional activities, supporting higher quality performances, undertaking
greater audience development work, supporting greater collaborations, and improving their marketing. Many
organisations noted that the FCF allowed them to take more risks and to develop new areas of work, for
example the FCF supported Capsule in moving their festival from July to October, thus avoiding the over-
saturated summer period.


4.8 Sustainability of Outcomes

All of the festivals are set to continue in the future. What is more, the WNF has encouraged the festivals to
develop new areas of work, which many hope to build into future festivals. The FCF has supported the festivals
in developing high quality and unique cultural offers, which in turn have helped to raise their regional, national
and international profiles. The FCF also played a key role in supporting new collaborations or strengthening
existing partnerships and all the festivals hope to work with these individuals and organisations again in the
future. What is more, there is already some evidence of festivals collaborating with these partners as part of
their 2011 festivals. A number of spin-off benefits have also emerged, for example Rhubarb-Rhubarb has plans
to take their WNF project to Australia in 2011.


4.9 Return on Investment

The FCF projects have calculated their funding and audience numbers in different ways and therefore an overall
assessment of return on investment is difficult to undertake. However, as examples the Flatpack festival
represented a unit cost per person of £18.90 and the Bass Festival was £29.76 per person.


4.10 Case Study

The following case study highlights how the FCF can play a role in supporting festivals that contribute to
Birmingham's cultural priorities. It is important to note, however, that the outcomes set out in this case study
have been realised as a result of a much wider package of funding.




                                                    38
Project: The Supersonic Festival
Lead organisation: Capsule
Objectives

Capsule offers a year round programme of events, including the internationally-renowned Supersonic
Festival, which was launched in 2003 and focuses on experimental / avant-garde music. Capsule
sought FCF to support them in re-designing the festival in order to keep it new and innovative and in line
with audience demands. They also moved the festival from July to October to avoid over saturation with
press and audience as a result of an increasing number of summer festivals; changed the venue to
better serve the purposes of the festival; and developed the programme and festivals marketing plan.

Inputs

The Supersonic Festival cost a total of £184,000, of which £15,000 was secured through the FCF.

Activities

The Supersonic Festival offered a three day programme of music, film, exhibitions, talks and workshops.

Outputs

Almost 50 bands performed at the Festival, which attracted a physical audience of 5,000 people and an
online audience of 3,900.

Outcomes

Supported collaborations: Capsule worked in collaboration with a range of partners, both new and
existing, which helped them to reach a wider audience, offer a unique programme of activity, and ensure
sustainability and resilience in the sector.

Developed capacity and skills: Supersonic offered three internships in design, marketing and production,
which provided an opportunity for individuals to develop their own skills whilst learning from the core
festival team. The Festival also recruited 54 temporary members of staff, including one Operations
Manager. This individual had 12 years experience in the visual arts but had little experience of working
in this niche sector. The festival provided her with new skills, which she will utilise in the future. In
addition, the Festival worked with 69 volunteers; many of which took part in training sessions to support
them in their role.

Raising the profile of artists: The festival provided an opportunity for artists to showcase their work to a
wide audience. For example: one of the band members that performed at Supersonic stated:

          "Supersonic 2010 gave us an opportunity to perform for an audience larger and more diverse
          than we have before. It has created an awareness of what we do beyond the places we have
          been, and generated interest that we hope to capitalise on in the coming year." Neil Bailey
          from Stinky Wizzleteat




                                                  39
 Reaching new audiences: 44% of the audience members had not previously attended the Festival.
 Among other marketing strategies, Capsule placed an emphasis on using digital tools, for example
 Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, to help reach new audiences.

 Raising the profile of Birmingham as a city of culture: Supersonic Festival had a large number of national
 and international journalists in attendance, which helped to promote Birmingham. The Festival
 generated 11 international reviews and was featured in 10 national publications and 16 national online
 publications. In particular, in the run up to the Festival the Irish Times explored the role of Birmingham
 as a city of culture.

 Attracting visitors and supporting the wider economy: The Supersonic Festival attracts a high number of
 visitors to Birmingham. The event supported hotel businesses across the region, and as a result of the
 event at least four hotels sold out over the Festival period. What is more, research13 found that in 2010
 the Supersonic Festival resulted in an estimated economic impact of £1.3 million.

 Added Value

 Without the FCF, the festival would still have gone ahead. However, this additional funding provided
 important resources that supported the festival, for example by helping the organisation to host one of
 the UK's leading music festivals; increasing organisational capacity and stability; developing audiences;
 and facilitating the use of digital technologies. In particular, it allowed the Festival to develop new work
 and take more risks, for example in respect of changing the date and venue of the Festival.

 Sustainability

 The Festival will continue in the future and will endeavour to build on the work supported by the FCF.

 Challenges

 A requirement of the FCF was that it would enable new developments within the festival sector, however
 Capsule highlighted a greater demand for funding to strengthen existing activities. In addition, better
 partnership working with Birmingham City Council departments (e.g. Marketing Birmingham, the Events
 Team and the Highways Team) would have been beneficial.




4.11 Key Findings

In summary, the following key findings emerged from the evaluation of the FCF

• The FCF supported independent festivals that had the best potential of raising the profile of Birmingham and
   improving visitor perceptions of the city. The funding aimed to improve the quality and quantity of the artistic
   programme, support collaborations, innovation and capacity development in the festivals sector and
   contribute to audience development.


   13
        Draft research undertaken by the West Midlands Regional Observatory.




                                                       40
• £104,818 was awarded across seven projects, with the value of each grant being around £15,000. Three
   festivals also secured an additional £10,000 which was made available as a result of under-spend. In the
   majority of cases, WNF topped up a programme of funding that was, either all or partly, secured already.
   However, the WNF contribution was used to fund new developments or activity that added to the existing
   festival offer.


• In terms of outputs, the FCF supported seven festivals, which attracted over 130,000 individuals. However,
   public showcases and online viewers actually make this figure much higher.


• Care has to be taken when considering the outcomes from the FCF; as stated previously, some festivals
   integrated the WNF activities into their overall festival and therefore the outcomes were generated as a result
   of a much wider and larger package of funding.


• The festivals provided an opportunity for artists to showcase their work. They also secured a high level of
   media coverage and attracted visitors to Birmingham, which helped to promote the city and its cultural offer.


• There is evidence to suggest that the festivals successfully engaged new audiences. This was achieved by
   offering events and activities free-of-charge, showcasing work in public places, using a range of venues and
   strengthening online activities.


• The FCF supported new areas of work, which have enhanced the cultural organisations' capacity and skills.
   All of the festivals engaged volunteers and many also worked with students or interns to provide them with
   an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the cultural sector.


• Collaboration has been a key part of all of the festivals. In particular, it has helped to increase the diversity
   of their offer, raise the profile of their organisation and engage new audiences. Collaboration between artists
   also enabled them to learn from one another and exchange skills.


• Without the FCF, all of the festivals would still have gone ahead anyway. However, the FCF played a key
   role in supporting a unique, high quality festival offer in Birmingham and in supporting further investment into
   the city and its cultural offer.




                                                    41
5.0 International Partnerships Programme
This chapter considers the 12 projects funded under the IPP. It is based on a review of application documents,
completed evaluation templates and consultations for all projects.


5.1 Logic Model

The following diagram summarises the logic model for the IPP. Further details are provided in the following
sections.

Figure 5.1 IPP Logic Model




                                                 42
5.2 Objectives and Need

The overarching purpose of the IPP, as set out in the programme prospectus, was to raise the international
profile of the city’s cultural offer through partnership working between Birmingham-based organisations and
international partners, and associated touring activity. The intention was that this would contribute to an
improved image and perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural city.

The rationale for public sector intervention was based on the desire to address issues with the image of
Birmingham as a cultural city and also to build relationships in target countries outside the UK. Marketing
Birmingham was represented on the assessment panel and provided a view on whether projects were
proposing high value relationships (i.e. relating to one or more of the identified priority geographical areas –
North America, China, India/South Asia, Europe and the Gulf States).

The IPP would also provide arts organisations with a chance to build relationships and access new development
opportunities, thereby helping to support the city's not-for-profit cultural sector.

More specifically, the stated objectives of the IPP were to support:

• the transnational mobility of Birmingham artists and companies;
• the transnational circulation of cultural works and products;
• the development of co-operation and co-production between Birmingham-based cultural organisations and
   their counterparts in different areas of the world identified below as priority targets;

• the promotion of Birmingham as a global centre of cultural excellence and creativity;
• the improvement of Birmingham's image internationally in order to attract increased inward investment,
   business and leisure tourism and to retain and attract more high-flyers to live and work in the city.


It was intended that this work would also contribute to achievement of the LAA priority outcome 17 which is
concerned with raising Birmingham’s profile and attracting more people, trade and opportunities through hosting
renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have
access to high quality facilities, programmes and activities locally.


5.3 Inputs

In summer 2009, BCP submitted an application for £237,499 of WNF resources to fund the IPP from September
2009 to March 2011. The application noted that the vast majority of this sum would be distributed as grants
through open competition. It was envisaged that approximately 12 projects would be supported and each would
receive a grant of between £10,000 and £20,000, recognising that projects would need to be of a certain scale
in order to meet the programme criteria.

Table 5.1 sets out the funded projects and the WNF grant received. As anticipated, 12 projects were funded and
grant amounts ranged from £11,000 to £20,000 (resulting in an average per project of £17,120); in total almost
£205,500 of WNF resource was distributed in the form of grants.




                                                     43
The table also sets out the other funding which was available to grant holders. These additional amounts ranged
from £4,500 to £110,000 and generally took the form of earned income (from ticket sales),
sponsorship/donations, partner contributions and/or a contribution made by the organisation itself. Two projects
received grants from the British Council and one of these (Sampad) was also supported by People Dancing
(part of the region's 2012 Cultural Olympiad Programme). Many projects also benefited from in-kind
contributions made by the grant holder and/or its partners. Although it is difficult to estimate the proportion of
this funding which was levered in as a direct result of the WNF grant, a number of the grant holders mentioned
that the backing of BCP was valuable in demonstrating their credibility to international partners. In addition,
WNF support can also facilitate levering of funding for future projects, for example VIVID reported that the IPP
grant had already helped them to lever funding from the Arts Council for a subsequent UK tour.

Overall, WNF represented 37% of the total cost of all 12 projects funded by the programme; this intervention
rate ranged from 15% in the case of Birmingham Royal Ballet to 77% for the School of Jewellery.

Table 5.1 IPP Project Funding
                                                                                                  WNF as % of Total
           Organisation                          WNF                 Other Funding   Total Cost
                                                                                                       Cost

 Birmingham Royal Ballet                       £20,000                   £110,000    £130,000           15%

 Chitraleka                                    £20,000                   £17,886      £37,886           53%

 Ex Cathedra                                   £16,960                   £13,936      £30,896           55%

 Fierce                                        £20,000                   £45,800      £65,800           30%

 Punch Records                                 £19,570                    £5,000      £24,570           80%

 Sampad                                        £20,000                   £49,896      £69,896           29%

 School of Jewellery, BIAD                     £15,250                    £4,500      £19,750           77%

 Sonia Sabri Company                           £19.950                   £23,475      £43,425           46%

 Stan's Café                                   £15,000                   £33,000      £48,000           31%

 Ulfah Arts                                    £12,923                   £15,000      £27,923           46%

 VIVID                                         £14,780                   £16,819      £31,599           47%

 Dance Xchange                                 £11,000                   £13,750      £24,750           44%

 Total                                        £205,433                   £349,062    £554,495           37%

Source: IPP project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


5.4 Activities

Funded activity covered a range of art forms with Europe being the most popular destination (see Table 5.2).
The number of countries visited ranged from one to four, and all of the identified target areas were covered.
Four of the projects were forced to make changes to the countries that they had intended to visit as a result of




                                                               44
the withdrawal of partners following grant approval, for example Chitraleka's planned tour to Canada could not
take place and the company instead visited India.

Most projects delivered workshops (or similar) in addition to staging an exhibition or performance. Some
projects also took part in post-performance talks, press events and networking, in particular Ex Cathedra
worked with Marketing Birmingham to host both pre and post-performance stakeholder events and the School of
Jewellery worked with Brilliantly Birmingham to host a business lunch and related meetings.

Table 5.2 also shows the extent to which performances/exhibitions were also delivered in the UK with the
support of WNF. More than half of the projects did not undertake any UK-based activity, while two exhibited
work in Birmingham and a further three undertook a tour which included venues outside of the city.

Table 5.2 IPP Activity
          Organisation                  Art Form                 Description        Tour Destination      Domestic Activity

                                                               Performances &
 Birmingham Royal Ballet                  Dance                                       North America             None
                                                                 workshops

                                                               Performances &
 Chitraleka                               Dance                                            India                Tour
                                                                  workshop

                                                               Performances &
 Ex Cathedra                              Music                                       North America             None
                                                                  workshop

 Fierce                                 Visual arts                 Exhibition      Belgium & Sweden         Birmingham

 Punch                                  Visual arts                 Exhibition        North America             None

                                                               Performances &
 Sampad                              Dance & music                                         India                Tour
                                                                 workshops

                                                                  Exhibition &
 School of Jewellery, BIAD                 Craft                                          China                 None
                                                                  workshops

                                                               Performances &
 Sonia Sabri Company                      Dance                                    United Arab Emirates         None
                                                                 workshops

                                                               Performances &
 Stan's Café                             Theatre                                          France                None
                                                                  workshop

                                                               Performances &
 Ulfah Arts                         Theatre & music                                 Kosovo & Norway             Tour
                                                                 workshops

 VIVID                                  Visual arts                 Exhibitions          Sweden              Birmingham

                                                                                      Czech Republic,
 Dance Xchange                                                 Performances &         French Reunion
                                          Dance                                                                 None
                                                                 workshops          Islands, Slovenia &
                                                                                           Spain
Source: IPP project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews




                                                               45
5.5 Outputs

Table 5.3 summarises headline output information, showing that the number of international performances
ranged from 1 to 13 and that a significant amount of work in the UK was also undertaken, including six
performances of Sampad's 'In the Further Soil.'

Projects generally reported that international audiences either met or exceeded expectations although in some
cases grant holders were still awaiting confirmation of audience figures from venues. Where figures (or
estimates) are available it shows that there has been significant exposure to new audiences for the
organisations which took part in the IPP. It is estimated that, in total, over 29,000 people visited exhibitions or
performances undertaken as part of IPP.

Table 5.3 IPP Outputs
                                               Performances/
           Organisation                                                     Audience/Visitors             Workshops
                                                Exhibitions

                                                                                                      7 int. master classes
 Birmingham Royal Ballet                     4 int. performances                      10,000
                                                                                                      (est. 280 attendees)

                                             4 int. performances                      2,350              1 UK workshop
 Chitraleka
                                             3 UK performances                         180             (est. 25 attendees)

                                                                                                        2 int. workshops
 Ex Cathedra                                  1 int. performance                       348
                                                                                                      (est. 36 participants)

                                               3 int. exhibitions
 Fierce                                                                                750                     n/a
                                               1 UK exhibition

 Punch                                         1 int. exhibitions                     4,700             4 int. workshops

                                             9 int. performances              4,448 (total inc.         4 int. workshops
 Sampad                                      6 UK performances                  workshops)              2 UK workshops

 School of Jewellery, BIAD                     2 int. exhibitions                  Not available        2 int. workshops

                                                                                                   >25 int. workshops/seminars
 Sonia Sabri Company                         2 int. performances                       600
                                                                                                         (255 participants)

                                                                                                         1 int. workshop
 Stan's Café                                 5 int. performances                       874
                                                                                                         (30 participants)

                                             2 int. performances             950 plus TV aud.            5 UK workshops
 Ulfah Arts                                  5 UK performances                     697                  (100 participants)

                                                1 int. exhibition
 VIVID                                                                              602 (total)                n/a
                                               2 UK exhibitions

 Dance Xchange                                                                                          14 int. workshops
                                            13 int. performances                      2,688
                                                                                                        (326 participants)

 Total                                      47 int. and 17 UK                      29,187 est.
                                                                                                   59 int. and 8 UK workshops
                                        performances/exhibitions                    audience
Source: IPP project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews




                                                               46
5.6 Outcomes

5.6.1 Economic
Strengthened and promoted the creative economy

The IPP has been successful in providing Birmingham-based organisations with an opportunity to gain more
experience of international touring and to increase their profile, thereby helping to safeguard their future.
Exposure to new audiences has allowed companies to build up a wider network of contacts, for example
Company Decalage (supported by Dance Xchange) developed 85 new contacts, as a result of networking
activity undertaken on tour, which will be added to the company's mailing list; to date, this has resulted in two
confirmed bookings and seven strong leads for future work. Ulfah Arts has received an enquiry from the US
State Department which is interested in hosting the production developed for IPP in the USA (subject to finding
availability), and Birmingham Royal Ballet has developed a new partnership with Houston Ballet as a result of
their trip to the USA and the two companies are now planning to create a new production together on a shared
cost basis.

Although there is no evidence that ongoing employment opportunities have been created, IPP activity provided
short-term work for the companies involved helping to safeguard existing employment (although an estimate of
the extent of this is not available). In addition, some projects also provided work for freelance performers for the
duration of the tour, for example Stan's Café.

Increased the profile and reputation of Birmingham

The approach to increasing the profile of Birmingham ranged from mentioning the city in marketing material and
press releases to actively promoting Birmingham to the business community and other stakeholders through
events and receptions. Chitraleka showed video clips of culture in Birmingham during the interval of their
performances. Ex Cathedra secured a resource from Marketing Birmingham to host two events aimed at
promoting the city as a location for inward investment. The School of Jewellery also secured support (via the
Brilliantly Birmingham marketing campaign) which resulted in meetings and a lunch to promote the city to key
stakeholders.

However, a number of projects reported that they struggled with this aspect of the programme and found that
Marketing Birmingham did not respond to requests for support and/or materials which was considered to have
resulted in a number of missed opportunities to undertake effective promotion of the city. In particular, the venue
which Stan's Café worked with in France offered to host a business reception; however, when the company
made enquiries they found that no-one was able to attend to represent and promote Birmingham and so the
offer was not taken up.

A number of the projects secured important international and national media coverage although this primarily
increased the profile of the organisations themselves and, as a result, is considered further in Section 5.6.3.

Increased visitors and supported the wider economy

Although there is no evidence of an increase in tourist visitors to Birmingham as a result of the projects
undertaken, two projects reported that they had or were about to host first-time visits to the city by project




                                                   47
partners who had decided to visit after being impressed by hearing about the city and its cultural offer. In
addition, Sonia Sabri Company reported that their project partner ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and
Heritage) had expressed an interest in undertaking reciprocal work in Birmingham and that while in Abu Dhabi
they had also met artists who were interested in exploring work opportunities in the city.

The involvement of Birmingham City University in two projects has provided an opportunity to market the
university to potential students in the United Arab Emirates and China, although it is not yet possible to say
whether this involvement has helped to attract any additional students from these countries.

5.6.2 Social
Increased cultural engagement / participation

By travelling overseas the organisations involved have presented their work to new audiences. However, the
extent to which these audiences have been new to the art form is generally unclear although Sonia Sabri
Company reports having attracted the native population to their shows, including women, who would not
normally attend this type of event. The company is very pleased with its success in attracting the native
population and feels that this is due to the press coverage and workshop activity which gave people an insight
into the work and made them feel comfortable with the production. Recognition of cultural differences was
highlighted as a key success factor for undertaking work overseas and time spent working with partners and
developing the workshop materials and performance for the local audience was considered essential.

Ulfah Arts also worked to increase cultural participation within an under-represented group by engaging 100
Muslim women in the development of the show. This was done through a series of workshops in the UK and by
involving them in the process the intention was that the women would value the product and be comfortable in
attending a more mainstream performance than they would usually attend (involving music and male
performers). The women were also asked to help promote the show within their communities and a survey of
the women showed that they felt that there had been a positive impact on community cohesion and social
dialogue in their areas as a result.

Developed capacity and skills among local residents

Two of the projects provided opportunities for volunteers or interns. VIVD runs an internship programme and the
IPP project provided opportunities for two volunteer interns. These volunteers were recruited through a rolling
programme and were from the local area. Ulfah Arts also involved volunteers in their production; this included
the group of 100 Muslim women who were involved in development of the show and its promotion, and also a
core team of 13 volunteers who assisted with marketing and front of house services.

A number of the projects held workshops for students to facilitate skills development, for example Ex Cathedra
held two workshops for choral singers (at Harvard and Rowan Universities) which involved introducing them to
the company's repertoire and offering advice on development of technical skills in this discipline.




                                                   48
5.6.3 Cultural
Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

All of the organisations involved appear to have found value in the work which was funded by IPP. In particular,
for most of the organisations, the projects have resulted in internal capacity building allowing development of
skills in the practicalities of international touring and, for some, networking and promotional aspects. It has been
viewed as a learning experience which they can build upon in future.

Collaboration with partners has enabled the artists to learn from each other and exchange skills. As noted
above, a number of the projects also involved skills development work with young people, for example the ballet
master classes held by Birmingham Royal Ballet. The company also noted that such activity also provides a
platform for it to attract and retain talent and also develop new income streams that will contribute to its financial
sustainability but also help to promote Birmingham as a city with world-class cultural opportunities.

Increased/improved collaborations

The funded projects have led to numerous new partnerships being developed and, in some cases, for existing
partnerships to be strengthened by the opportunity for increased collaboration. Some of the projects have also
resulted in new artistic collaborations, for example Dance Xchange's project supported Company Decalage to
undertake a European tour which involved engaging in two new artistic collaborations each resulting in the
creation of new work.

All of the organisations which delivered projects reported that they intend for relationships with partners to
continue beyond the lifetime of the project and be used to explore further opportunities. In some cases these
partnerships have already led to new work opportunities, for example Birmingham Royal Ballet has been invited
to appear at the Virginia Arts Festival again in 2013 and Chitraleka has undertaken another trip to India to
perform at a conference.

Improved the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision

The funded projects led either to the development of new international partnerships or the strengthening of
existing relationships. In addition, some projects resulted in the development of new work, for example the
Company Decalage tour resulted in four new collaborations and/or residencies which have resulted in the
creation of new work. The show developed by Ulfah Arts was broadcast on Kosovan national television thereby
providing a wider audience with an opportunity to watch the performance.

VIVID's work was particularly innovative as it involved collaboration with the Daily Jang, an Urdu language
newspaper headquartered in Pakistan but also with offices in Birmingham and London. This was a commercial
newspaper which has never previously had an arts column but agreed to print contributions on the theme of
independent voice as part of the project.

Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

Grant holders particularly value the increased profile which the IPP work has generated for their organisation
outside of the city and a number have expressed surprise at the level of media coverage and/or audience




                                                    49
response which their work has generated. For example Ex Cathedra received a highly regarded starred
recommendation in the New York Times, the School of Jewellery received pre-exhibition coverage in Harper's
Bazaar (China) and Fierce attracted coverage in Art Review and The Wire and a piece in the Guardian.

Sampad's project linked to the Commonwealth Games and it was felt that being part of the Games provided a
boost to the profile of the tour and also gave them the opportunity to perform for the Prince of Wales.


5.7 Added Value

All of the grant holders reported that they would not have been able to deliver what they did without WNF
support, indicating that there was some level of additionality in each case and the support made a difference.
However, this level of additionality varied from enabling the company to go on tour ( a high level of additionality)
to making a difference to the quality of the tour (showing the company 'at its best' – which implies a lower level
of additionality). Without WNF support, all organisations felt that they would not have been able to maximise the
opportunities which were available, for example by lacking the budget to develop a new exhibition catalogue or
develop new work or undertake promotional activity, or by failing to unlock further funding (support from BCP
was mentioned by several organisations as helping to provide credibility to facilitate this).

Smaller companies in particular drew attention to the shortfall between the earned income or commissioning fee
which was on offer and the actual cost of undertaking the tour. WNF helped to bridge this gap and ensure that
the activity was financially viable. It was recognised that international work is expensive but that in the current
climate fundraising is challenging and alternative funding options are very limited.


5.8 Sustainability of Outcomes

All of the organisations involved hope to do more international work in future although a number commented
that availability of funding would limit their ability to realise this aim. Both the School of Jewellery and Sampad
have no plans for further touring of the work which they put together for IPP although both are now working on
ideas for new projects. Birmingham Royal Ballet is also developing new work. In contrast, VIVID, Stan's Café,
Sonia Sabri Company and Fierce are all preparing a UK tour of material which featured in their IPP projects and
others, such as Chitraleka, hope to undertake further international touring with their work. Ulfah Arts is
committed to continuing development of their production and intend that it will continue to evolve given the
scope to add a 'local flavour' through collaboration in whichever countries that it tours to in future.


5.9 Return on Investment

Figure 5.2 indicates the estimated unit costs per participant for each of the funded projects (where the required
data is available). The unit costs vary from £4.98 to £87.73 per participant with the range reflecting the diversity
of activity undertaken (in terms of nature of activity, size of company, distance travelled, etc).




                                                     50
Figure 5.2 IPP Average Unit Costs (based on total funding secured)


        £100.00
                                                                                                                                                          £87.73
         £90.00
                                                                                                                                                 £76.48
         £80.00
         £70.00
                                                                                                                                     £56.97
         £60.00                                                                                             £52.49      £52.80
         £50.00
         £40.00
         £30.00
                                                                                                £19.02
         £20.00                                                         £15.09      £15.71
                                           £11.47          £12.65
                   £4.98      £7.36
         £10.00
          £0.00                                            let




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Source: IPP evaluation reports and project interviews


5.10 Case Study

The following case study highlights the work of Ex Cathedra which was funded as part of the IPP.


 Project: A Whole New World: Developing the US Market
 Lead organisation: Ex Cathedra
 Objectives

 Ex Cathedra had never previously toured to the USA but their research had identified it as a potential
 new market, especially the East Coast. Participation in IPP provided an important opportunity to begin to
 build a profile in the USA.

 Inputs

 The company received a grant of £16,960 from WNF and in total spent almost £31,000, with the
 additional money coming from a combination of earned income and Ex Cathedra's own resources.
 Compared to the cost of delivering concerts in the UK and Europe, the company felt this represented
 excellent value for money particularly given the additional cost of travelling to the USA (including a
 requirement to spend £3,500 on visas).

 Activities

 The company planned to present a revival of the 'Moon, Sun and All Things' concert in the USA. It was




                                                                             51
originally intended that four concerts would be arranged but unfortunately, due to scheduling difficulties,
only one took place. This was in New York as part of the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space Series.

Outputs

In addition to the concert performance, the tour also involved two workshops for choral singers which
took place at Harvard and Rowan Universities. The concert attracted an audience of 348 people and a
total of 36 students attended the workshops (plus a further audience of 20 students at Rowan).

Outcomes

A key outcome for the company has been the development of new contacts and relationships, including
the British Council and a range of promoters, industry and media contacts in the USA. The workshops
provided an opportunity to introduce choral singers to Ex Cathedra's repertoire and provide advice on
skills development in this area. The company was also able to collaborate with Symphonia New York
and four of its musicians took part in the concert.

The concert proved very popular with the audience and also received a starred recommendation in the
New York Times. Over 100 CDs were sold after the concert and it is hoped that more will be purchased
online.

Arts and culture travel writers attended the concert as guests of Visit England and Marketing
Birmingham and several have committed to writing positively about Birmingham and its cultural offer
which will help to raise the profile of the city and potentially encourage visits.

The tour also provided an opportunity to engage with local businesses. Marketing Birmingham hosted a
pre-concert reception which had been organised by Ex Cathedra and was aimed at raising the profile of
Birmingham as a location for inward investment. A post-concert networking event was also held, hosted
by Business Birmingham.

Added Value

It would not have been possible for Ex Cathedra to go to the USA at this time without support from the
WNF as the level of earned income which was being offered was not enough to offset the expense of
the tour and make it financially viable.

Sustainability

All of the partnerships developed by the company as part of the project remain ongoing and will be used
to explore further opportunities. They hope to go back to USA in two years time but recognise that
fundraising will be a challenge especially in the current economic climate.

Challenges

Taking part in the IPP has represented a huge learning curve for the company but has left them much
better equipped to tour overseas in future. A key learning point was the importance of not




                                                      52
 underestimating the amount of work which will be needed to make the tour happen especially when
 planning a trip to a new territory which may present unforeseen administrative issues and/or costs, for
 example relating to visa requirements.

 Another challenge which was faced by Ex Cathedra is the issue of lead times. Most concert venues plan
 their programme for the coming year well in advance, typically finalising it in time to begin in the
 summer. Therefore the short timeframe for delivery of the IPP projects and timing of the application
 process combined to make it very difficult for concerts to be scheduled and meant that fewer shows
 were delivered. In addition, the timing of the visit also limited the number of workshops which could be
 delivered as although there had been interest from other universities the visit coincided with Spring
 Break when students were not available to take part.




5.11 Key Findings

In summary, the following key findings emerged through the evaluation of the IPP:

• The IPP aimed to raise the international profile of the city’s cultural offer through partnership working
   between Birmingham-based organisations and international partners, and associated touring activity.


• In total almost £205,500 of WNF resources was distributed across 12 projects in the form of grants. The
   projects also secured a range of other funding, ranging from £4,500 to £110,000.


• WNF has funded organisations across a range of art forms to deliver activity overseas. Half of the projects
   also involved work in the UK. For all projects WNF was felt to have made a difference to the quantity and/or
   quality of activity which was undertaken.


• The IPP has achieved its objective of encouraging cooperation and collaboration between Birmingham-
   based organisations and their counterparts in the identified target countries. This is evidenced by the
   partnership working which has taken place – developing both new and existing relationships – and the
   expectation that these links will continue into the future and be used to explore further opportunities.


• All of the projects took some action to promote Birmingham as a centre of culture and creativity, for example
   through providing information in press releases, programmes and other materials. One company showed
   video clips of culture in Birmingham during the interval of their show and others took the opportunity to
   promote the city verbally during networking, press events and workshops. At this stage it is unclear whether
   this will impact on future levels of leisure tourism.


• The projects have also helped to increase interest from the cultural sector in undertaking work in
   Birmingham. A number of projects reported that they had already hosted visits from overseas partners who
   were interested in seeing the city's cultural offer for themselves or made new contacts who had expressed
   an interest in visiting or working in Birmingham in the future.




                                                     53
• In some cases work with young people has been used as an opportunity to promote the city's universities to
   potential students. For example the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University was able to market its
   expertise in Beijing although, again, it is too early to tell whether this will result in additional applications
   being received.


• It appears that less work has been done to improve the image of Birmingham as a location for business. Two
   projects were able to secure support with business marketing while overseas and as a result hosted
   networking events and meetings. However, some projects reported that they had requested support with this
   aspect and it was not forthcoming resulting in a missed opportunity to promote the city.


• Importantly the IPP activity has helped the beneficiary organisations to raise their profile internationally which
   it is hoped will lead to further opportunities in future. Participating in the IPP has also provided an opportunity
   for internal capacity building within those organisations which had less experience of international work.




                                                    54
6.0 The Commissioning Programme
This chapter synthesises the findings from the evaluation of the four programmes, namely the SGS, EFF, FCF
and IPP, which together make up the BCP’s WNF Commissioning Programme. In total 45 projects were funded
through the WNF Commissioning Programme and this chapter is based on a review of the application forms and
evaluation templates for all projects, plus consultations with 38 project representatives.


6.1 Logic Model

The following diagram summarises the BCP WNF Commissioning Programme. Further details are provided in
the following sections.

Figure 6.1 Commissioning Programme Logic Model




                                               55
6.2 Objectives and Need

The WNF Commissioning Programme supported Birmingham’s Cultural Strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010 – 2015’,
which aims to ensure that residents enjoy a better quality of life and that culture makes a stronger contribution to
the city economy. In particular, the programme aimed to support three cultural targets, as set out in the current
LAA. The following table highlights these targets and the wider objectives that the four programmes intended to
contribute towards.

Table 6.1 Targets and Objectives

                  Targets / Objectives                                          SGS       EFF      FCF       IPP

 LAA              Increase adult participation in sport and active recreation
 Targets
                  Close the gap between participation in the four
                  constituencies with low participation as measured against
                  the remaining six Birmingham constituencies

                  Improve perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital
                  (and attract more people, trade and opportunities)

 Additional       Improve the quality and quantity of the artistic programme
 Programme        offered in Birmingham
 Objectives
                  Support cultural activity that brings people together

                  Encourage collaboration (to enable the exchange of skills
                  and/or the development of co-production)

                  Stimulate innovation and capacity development in the
                  festivals sector

                  Encourage audience development

                  Support the trans-national mobility of Birmingham artists,
                  companies, cultural works and products
Source: Programme prospectus and application forms


6.3 Inputs

The following table shows that a total of approaching £425,000 in grants was awarded through the
Commissioning Programme; almost half of this funding (£205,433) was awarded to projects under the IPP. The
SGS supported the greatest number of projects but the maximum grant awarded under this scheme was
£5,000. In comparison, the IPP awarded grants of up to £20,000.

The table also highlights that additional funding was secured across all programmes; in total, WNF represented
approximately 31% of the total project costs, which came to almost £1.4 million. Projects secured a range of
additional funding, for example through other funding agencies or partners, sponsorship, ticket sales,
fundraising and also contributions from the core delivery organisations. As a proportion of WNF, the festivals
secured the most funding from other sources. For the FCF, much of this was, either all or partly, secured prior




                                                     56
to the WNF grant being awarded. However, a number of EFF projects highlighted that the WNF played a key
role in enabling them to lever additional sources. For IPP projects, there was also evidence that the backing of
BCP was valuable in demonstrating credibility to international partners.

Table 6.2 Programme Funding
                                                     Number of                             Other                          WNF as % of
 Programme                                                                     WNF                       Total Cost
                                                      Projects                            Funding                          Total Cost

 Small Grants Scheme                                      18              £76,383         £48,817         £125,200              61%

 Emerging Festivals Fund                                  8               £37,691         £171,361        £209,052              18%
                                                                                     14
 Festivals Challenge Fund                                 7             £104,818          £380,582        £485,400              22%

 International Partnerships Programme                     12             £205,433         £349,062        £554,495              37%

 Total                                                    45             £424,325         £949,822       £1,374,147             31%

Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


6.4 Activities

The following table provides details on the types of activities delivered under each of the programmes. The
diversity and range of activities supported through the Commissioning Programme was notable. For example,
across all programmes, a range of art forms were covered, including music, visual arts, theatre, dance,
architecture, film, literature and photography.

For the SGS, EFF and IPP the WNF was used to support new or additional activities or festivals, which were
relatively self-contained. However for some of the FCF projects, the WNF supported activities that played a
much more integral role in their existing festival. The IPP (plus an element of one of the FCF projects) was the
only programme that supported overseas visits; the activities delivered under all of the other programmes took
place in Birmingham.

Table 6.3 Activities
 Programme                 Description of activities

 Small Grants              Participant performances (6 projects); exhibitions (5 projects); festivals and fun days (5 projects); a
 Scheme                    musical performance (1 project); and a social group (1 project).

                           8 festivals covering a range of art forms including music (3 projects); visual arts (2 projects); theatre
 Emerging Festivals
                           (1 project); film (1 project) and combined arts (1 project). In addition, the festivals typically included
 Fund
                           a range of wider activities such as workshops.

                           7 festivals covering a range of art forms including music (3 projects); literature (1 project);
 Festivals Challenge       architecture (1 project); film (1 project) and photography (1 project). The WNF was used to fund a
 Fund                      new development that added to their existing festival offer, e.g. greater outreach work, additional
                           events and activities, attraction of new or higher profile artists, and enhanced marketing.

 International             International visits covering a range of art forms including dance; music; visual arts; craft; and



    14
      An additional £30,000 was awarded to three organisations as a result of under-spend to support their 2011 festivals
    and events but this has been excluded from the total funding.




                                                               57
 Programme                 Description of activities

 Partnerships              theatre. Activities included exhibitions and performances, plus workshops. Europe was the most
 Programme                 popular destination but organisations also visited North America, India, China, and the United Arab
                           Emirates.
Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


6.5 Outputs

The following table summarises the key outputs from each of the programmes.                             The Commissioning
Programme supported 45 projects. In total, over 188,000 audience members and visitors were estimated to
have attended or taken part in the projects. In addition, the EFF projects reported that at least 349 artists took
part in the resulting festivals.

The festivals delivered under the FCF attracted the greatest audience numbers, which as established festivals
would perhaps be expected. However, it is important to consider audience numbers in relation to the diverse
nature of the activities being delivered and the total funding secured. For example, the IPP secured the most
funding but these activities included high travel costs and the SGS cost the least but worked with audiences that
do not typically engage in cultural activities.

Table 6.4 Programme Outputs
                           Number
 Programme                    of                     Number of activities               Audience / Visitors / Participants
                           projects

                                                  6 participant performances
                                                          5 exhibitions
 Small Grants
                               18                    5 festivals / fun days                           13,234
 Scheme
                                                     1 music performance
                                                         1 social group

 Emerging Festivals
                               8                   8 festivals over 33 days                           12,895
 Fund

 Festivals Challenge                     7 festivals comprising at least 369 events
                               7                                                                     132,875
 Fund                                            /performances / exhibitions

 International                           47 international and 17 UK performances /
 Partnerships                  12                         exhibitions                                 29,187
 Programme                                 59 international and 8 UK workshops

 Total                         45                               -                                    188,191
Source: project application forms, evaluation reports and project interviews


6.6 Outcomes

The outcomes from across the four individual programmes are summarised in the following sections.

6.6.1 Economic
On the whole the SGS did not contribute to economic outcomes.




                                                               58
Strengthened and promoted the creative economy

The WNF grants helped to provide opportunities for artists to showcase their work. What is more, the festivals
(EFF and FCF) often supported new and upcoming artists, including those from Birmingham and the
surrounding areas. The IPP, on the other hand, provided Birmingham-based organisations with an opportunity
to gain more experience of international touring, thus increasing their profile and helping to safeguard their
future. There is no evidence to suggest that ongoing employment opportunities have been created, although
the FCF and the IPP supported some short-term, temporary work opportunities.

Increased the profile and reputation of Birmingham

Increasing the profile and reputation of Birmingham was a key objective for the EFF, FCF and IPP. It is clear
that the festivals secured significant regional and national media coverage, which helped to raise awareness of
Birmingham, particularly in respect of its cultural offer. The festivals also attracted national and international
artists and sought to provide a high quality unique cultural offer that arguably, would help to put Birmingham on
the map. In the case of the IPP, projects mentioned the city in marketing material and press releases, and
some actively promoted Birmingham to the business community and other stakeholders through events and
receptions. However a number of organisations involved in the IPP reported that they struggled with this aspect
of the programme.

Increased visitors and supported the wider economy

The emerging festivals primarily attracted audiences from across Birmingham or the surrounding areas.
Notwithstanding this, the involvement of high profile artists, plus wider marketing and promotion did attract some
audience members from further afield. In comparison, the festivals supported through the FCF attracted a much
greater number of visitors from outside of Birmingham and there is evidence to highlight how these visitors
supported the wider economy, for example in terms of additional spend on accommodation, food and drink.
Many of the festivals involved artists from beyond the region and in some cases, from overseas, which also
constituted an increase in visitors. It is important to note, however, that the WNF was often part of a much wider
package of funding, which together enabled these outcomes to be realised. There was no evidence of the IPP
projects contributing to an increase in tourist visitors to Birmingham, however two projects did report that they
had or were about to host first-time visits to the city by project partners who had decided to visit after being
impressed with what they heard about the city and its cultural offer

6.6.2 Social
Increased community cohesion

The majority of the SGS projects placed a strong emphasis on improving community cohesion and for two of
EFF projects supporting community cohesion was also a key objective. This was primarily achieved by offering
a range of cultural activities in local neighbourhoods that encouraged residents from diverse communities to
come together. For the SGS, many projects highlighted that the cultural activities acted as the 'tool' or 'lever' to
bring residents together. There is some evidence, albeit to a much lesser degree, of improved community
cohesion across the other festivals as they endeavoured to attract more diverse audiences, including those that
do not typically engage in culture. The IPP did not generally contribute to improved community cohesion.




                                                   59
Increased cultural engagement / participation

Increasing cultural engagement and participation was a key objective of the SGS, EFF and FCF. In the short-
term, all three programmes demonstrated that they had supported this objective. However, much of the work
was on a relatively small scale and the extent to which increased engagement and participation was sustained
beyond the WNF is largely unclear. As a result, a noticeable improvement in respect of the LAA targets, to
increase adult participation in sport and active recreation and to close the gap between participation in the four
constituencies with low participation as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies, is
unlikely to be evident.

Notwithstanding this, the WNF helped to increase engagement and participation in the following ways:

• Cost: Offering cultural events and activities free-of-charge or at affordable prices.
• Location: Delivering cultural events and activities in neighbourhoods, in a range of different venues or in
   public locations.
• Cultural offer: Attracting high profile artists and delivering events that reflect the make-up of local
   communities in Birmingham.
• Involvement of local communities: Encouraging participatory activities and volunteering opportunities, for
   example in the planning stages as well as the project delivery stage.
• Marketing: Working with other organisations, undertaking targeted marketing and using the internet to reach
   new audiences.


By delivering activities in the four priority constituencies, the SGS and some of the EFF and FCF projects
successfully engaged residents from these areas. Other projects engaged new audiences from across the
whole city (or from further afield). The IPP, on the other hand, engaged with new overseas audiences, however
the extent to which these audiences were new to the art form is generally unclear.

Developed capacity and skills among local residents

The SGS, EFF and FCF primarily supported up-skilling at two levels: firstly in terms of involving individuals as
volunteers in the planning and delivery of activities; and secondly by providing opportunities for participants to
take part in workshops or cultural activities that encouraged them to develop their skills across various art forms.
All the SGS projects and some of the EFF projects focused on developing the capacity and skills of residents
from the four priority constituencies in Birmingham. The remaining EFF projects and the FCF projects tended to
engage individuals from across the region (including those from the city), or in the case of some of the FCF
festivals volunteers were also recruited from beyond the region.

Contributed to wider social priorities

On the whole, the SGS was the only programme that played a key role in contributing to wider social priorities.
This was primarily achieved by engaging a range of service providers in the planning and delivery of their
projects, for example service providers had 'manned' stalls at the events. Some grant recipients were also not
traditional arts organisations (e.g. an allotment association, a community association) and therefore their
projects played a role in supporting the wider social priorities of these organisations.




                                                    60
6.6.3 Cultural
Developed capacity and skills within the cultural sector

The EFF provided funding to enable a number of new organisations and festivals to be established and
therefore played a fundamental role in enhancing capacity within the cultural sector. For the more established
festivals that were supported through the FCF, plus the IPP projects, the WNF enabled them to develop new
areas of work. The SGS offered relatively small grants to organisations that were often experienced in
undertaking outreach work. Therefore there was only limited evidence of this programme enhancing the
capacity and skills of lead organisations.

Across the four programmes, some projects offered workshops or master-classes, which helped to develop
skills within the cultural sector. In addition, the volunteering opportunities offered across many projects
supported the capacity of the cultural sector. The festivals delivered under the FCF also often worked with
students from across the region, and several offered internships, which gave young people an opportunity to
gain valuable work experience and skills.

Increased / improved collaborations

Collaborative working was key to the success of all projects delivered through the Commissioning Programme.
The WNF provided a catalyst for many organisations to develop new partnerships or to strengthen existing
relationships with organisations, both within and outside of Birmingham. In addition, the projects provided
opportunities for new artistic collaborations. Most notably, collaborative working supported the successful
delivery of the projects by helping to engage wider audiences, by increasing the quality and diversity of the
cultural offer and by stimulating the exchange of skills. Across all four programmes, organisations highlighted
that they intend relationships with partners to continue beyond the lifetime of the project and there is already
evidence to suggest that some partners are working together to secure funding for future projects.

Improved the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural provision

The Commissioning Programme has played a key role in enhancing the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural
provision across Birmingham. For example, the funding allowed organisations to secure higher profile artists,
to offer a wider range of activities, and to develop new work. However, for the SGS in particular, this
improvement is temporary as there are very few examples of how the quality or quantity of provision will be
expanded in the long term. In comparison, the EFF has kick-started a series of new or emerging festivals; the
majority of which are planned to continue in the future.

Improved access and awareness of cultural organisations and activities

The SGS and some EFF projects improved access to cultural activities by delivering them in Birmingham
neighbourhoods. In addition, the funding provided across the SGS, EFF and FCF allowed for a greater
provision of free events across the city. As a result, there is some evidence to suggest that individuals will
continue to engage in more cultural activities in the future. The Commissioning Programme, through financial
support for marketing, promotion and outreach work, also helped to raise the profile of the cultural organisations
based in Birmingham. In particular, the festivals supported by the FCF strengthened their online presence and
the IPP supported organisations' international profile. The SGS has promoted the use of cultural, and indeed




                                                    61
non-cultural, activities and facilities in the four priority constituencies and as a result of their SGS project, some
community organisations are seeking to expand their cultural work.


6.7 Added Value

The WNF Commissioning Programme has demonstrated added value across all projects, however the level of
additionality does vary, as highlighted below:

• Although all of the IPP organisations highlighted that they would not have been able to deliver what they did
   without WNF support, this varies from not being able to go on tour at all to not being able to offer a tour of
   such high quality.


• In the absence of the SGS, almost two-thirds of organisations reported that the proposed activities would
   simply have not gone ahead at all, with many of the remainder stating that the project would have been
   scaled-down both in terms of ambition and engagement of partners.


• Under the EFF, at least three of the festivals would not have happened without WNF. For others, the WNF
   played a key role in enabling them to attract higher profile artists and offer a wider range of activities, thus
   adding to their overall cultural offer and the profile of their event.


• Without the FCF, all of the festivals would still have gone ahead. However, the specific activities that were
   funded by the WNF may not have taken place. The funding enabled the festivals to strengthen and promote
   their unique offer and many organisations noted that the FCF allowed them to take more risks in respect of
   developing new areas of work.


The WNF has helped to enhance Birmingham's cultural offer and make cultural activities more accessible.
Particularly across the EFF and SGS, some organisations also highlighted that the WNF helped them to secure
additional funding.


6.8 Sustainability of Outcomes

The vast majority of projects hope to continue their work in the future. All of the festivals supported through the
FCF are set to continue and what is more, the WNF encouraged these festivals to develop new areas of work,
which many hope to build into future festivals. In addition, there is already evidence that a number of emerging
festivals are being repeated in 2011 and many of the organisations supported through the IPP are either further
developing the work that they prepared for the IPP or looking to undertake further international touring.
Notwithstanding this, the availability of future funding remains a challenge for many.

Across all of the programmes, the WNF played a key role in supporting new collaborations or strengthening
existing partnerships and all organisations expressed an interest in working with these individuals and
organisations again in the future. For example, some of the SGS project leads are already working with
partners to bid for further funding to repeat activities, as well as to develop new ones.




                                                     62
The WNF has also helped to raise the profile of cultural organisations in Birmingham and as a result, there are
examples of organisations looking to develop and promote their work beyond Birmingham.


6.9 Return on Investment

Given the diversity of projects supported through the Commissioning Programme, calculating the overall return
on investment, as unit cost per person, is very difficult. It has been estimated that the SGS delivered a unit cost
of approximately £26 per attendee whereas the EFF generated a unit cost of just over £16 per person. For the
IPP, the unit costs vary from £4.98 to £87.73 per participant with the range reflecting the diversity of activity
undertaken


6.10 Challenges

The key challenges faced by organisations applying for grants under the Commissioning Programme can be
summarised as follows:

1 The application forms were considered to be too lengthy and too generic for many applicants.


2 The timeframe for submitting funding applications was viewed as being very short, particularly for the FCF
  and the IPP, where it was felt that more time to develop project ideas would have been beneficial.


3 In addition, decisions regarding funding allocations arguably took too long, resulting in less time to plan and
   deliver projects. This was particularly challenging for the IPP, but was also cited by organisations delivering
   projects under the SGS and the FCF.


4 The application requirements, for example the provision of audited accounts for two previous financial years,
   can restrict some organisations from applying for grants. This was particularly evident for the EFF where
   new festivals and new organisations were being established.


5 Organisations adopted a range of marketing approaches to raise awareness of their cultural activities but it
   still remains a challenge, particularly when they are seeking to engage new audiences.


6 Projects secured additional funding to deliver their projects, however in reality it was common for projects to
  cost much more to deliver. A significant amount of in-kind support ensured the successful delivery of
   projects.


7 For many projects, particularly the emerging festivals, there is a need for further funding to sustain and
  develop activities but given the difficulties in securing public funding, there is a risk that the momentum,
   capacity and skills built up through these projects is lost.


8 Under the FCF, projects were required to demonstrate that the WNF supported a new development. For
  many festivals, it was difficult to identify new areas of work as funding was more commonly required to
   strengthen and enhance existing work.




                                                     63
6.11 Key Findings

In summary, the following key findings have emerged through the evaluation of the evaluation of the WNF
Commissioning Programme:

• The WNF Commissioning Programme supported Birmingham’s Cultural Strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010 –
   2015’, which aims to ensure that residents enjoy a better quality of life and that culture makes a stronger
   contribution to the city economy.


• A total of £424,325 in grants was awarded through the Commissioning Programme. Overall, this
   represented 31% of total project costs.


• The diversity and range of activities supported through the Commissioning Programme was notable.

• The Commissioning Programme supported a total of 45 projects and, in total, over 188,000 audience
   members and visitors were estimated to have attended or taken part in the projects.


• The EFF, FCF and IPP strengthened and promoted the creative economy, there was some evidence that the
   profile and reputation of Birmingham was increased but there is scope for this to be improved. The FCF, in
   particular, also played a key role in attracting visitors from outside of Birmingham.


• Certainly in the short-term, the SGS, EFF and FCF helped to increase cultural engagement and participation
   and there is evidence to suggest that there has been increased cultural engagement among residents living
   in the four priority constituencies. However, the extent to which this will be sustained beyond the WNF is
   largely unclear.


• The SGS, and some of the EFF projects, supported community cohesion. In addition, the up-skilling of local
   residents was supported through the SGS, EFF and FCF.


• Across the four programmes, capacity and skills within the cultural sector were developed, collaborative
   working supported the successful delivery of projects, and the quality, quantity and diversity of cultural
   provision across Birmingham was enhanced.


• The WNF has helped to enhance Birmingham's cultural offer and make cultural activities more accessible.
   Particularly across the EFF and SGS, some organisations also highlighted that the WNF helped them to
   secure additional funding.


• Positively, the vast majority of projects hope to continue their work in the future, however the availability of
   future funding remains a challenge for many. Across all programmes, the WNF played a key role in
   supporting new collaborations of strengthening existing partnerships and all organisations expressed an
   interest in working with these individuals and organisations in the future.


• The main challenges encountered by projects related to the application process and associated timeframes.
   Effectively marketing Birmingham as a cultural city was also a challenge for many.




                                                    64
7.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter sets out the conclusions and recommendations for improving the outcomes from a commissioning
process.


7.1 Conclusions

The Commissioning Programme has demonstrated that the provision of grant funding to local organisations is
an effective means of enhancing the capacity of these organisations, whilst also strengthening Birmingham's
cultural offer and responding to local needs. There is a range of evidence to suggest that the projects have
contributed to all three of the LAA cultural targets:

• increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation;
• closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation, Perry Barr, Erdington,
   Hodge Hill and Ladywood as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies; and
• improving perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital.

However, the value of the grants supported work at a relatively small scale and as a result the extent to which
projects will lead to long-term improvements in these targets remains unclear. Notwithstanding this, the grants
have acted as catalysts for stimulating a range of spin-off benefits, particularly in respect of supporting greater
collaborative working and developing new areas of work. There is an enthusiasm for continuing to build on the
work that has been undertaken through this process but going forward, many projects will still require public
funding to help them to raise awareness of Birmingham's cultural offer and ensure that cultural activities are
accessible to all. Securing future funding remains a challenge and consequently, there is a risk that the
momentum, capacity and skills built up through these projects will be lost.


7.2 Recommendations

Based on the findings from this evaluation, the following recommendations are proposed:

1 The timescale for submitting applications should allow organisations sufficient time to properly plan their
   projects.


2 There is scope to increase awareness of the funding programmes in order to encourage a greater range of
  organisations to apply.


3 The support from BCP at the application stage should be continued and a two staged application process
   would be beneficial in order to reduce the burden of completing application forms. Similarly, scope for
   submitting electronic versions of documents should be explored.


4 Wherever possible, application forms should be simplified and tailored to specific programmes.




                                                   65
5 Partnership working between organisations should be encouraged and supported, particularly to support
   new organisations in accessing funding.


6 Greater partnership working with Birmingham City Council, for example Marketing Birmingham, the Events
  Team and the City Centre Management Team, should be encouraged and facilitated, particularly to help
   raise the profile and reputation of Birmingham.


7 Local organisations have demonstrated success in engaging local communities and partners in order to
  generate a wide range of outcomes that contribute to both cultural and social priorities for the city and
   therefore these grants should be continued.


8 International projects should be encouraged to strengthen their local links alongside their overseas work, for
  example by developing work to perform overseas and in Birmingham.


9 Where existing activities are supported, the additionality of grants should be clearly identified and monitored.


10 A clear set of evaluation criteria, that respond to programme objectives, would enable the impact of grant
   funded schemes to be better assessed. BCP is currently developing an evaluation framework and toolkit to
   measure the impact of Birmingham's Cultural Strategy, which would benefit such schemes in the future.


11 If similar programmes are to be continued, a process for sharing and documenting lessons learnt by the
   organisations involved should be encouraged. This would be particularly valuable for the IPP and EFF.




                                                     66
Annex One: Project List




         A1
Small Grants Scheme

Organisation    Project Title   Project Description


Women and       See me, Hear    The project brought students and communities around Perry Beeches together through a theatre performance exploring
Theatre         me              the history of the school site; researched, performed and shared with the wider community. It was created in partnership
                                with Priestley Smith School for blind and visually impaired students, and helped integrate students, staff and families.


CBSO            Found in        CBSO created a live music event in Ladywood’s old boat yard. An original composition inspired by Ladywood was
                Ladywood        performed. The aim of the show was to portray Ladywood in a different light to both residents and the wider public. This
                                enabled the orchestra to engage with new audiences who would not normally visit Symphony Hall, and provided residents
                                with the chance to not only experience a string quartet on their doorstep, but also to learn new skills in event management
                                and delivery.


Heart of        Voices of       The NHS Trust’s Arts Team delivered a cross-generational music-making project with residents from across the Hodge
England NHS     Hodge Hill      Hill constituency in a variety of venues. Six singing workshops were delivered in community centres, followed by public
Trust                           performances given in Heartlands Hospital.


Deaf Cultural   Spooktacular    The organisation ran a two-week summer drama play scheme for local 8-14 yr olds in Ladywood, led by Words, Signs and
Centre                          Vibes Theatre Group. It brought together the deaf and hearing communities, and the sessions were co-led by deaf and
                                hearing facilitators and supported by interpreters and volunteers. The workshops and public performances were
                                professionally documented and an exhibition of photographs and craft work from the show was displayed.


Vivid           Home Movies     The project engaged residents (young to old), introduced them to film, documentary culture, library archives etc, and then
                                worked with a select number of more interested residents to create a documentary based on local history.


Friction Arts   Highgate and    The project aimed to encourage communities in Highgate and Digbeth to get together. Eastside development has
                Digbeth Fun     resulted in a split between the two communities and there is nowhere for them to get together, particularly for young
                Day             people.


Active Arts     You, me and     By engaging a photographic artist to work with some of the older residents of Castle Vale, new photographic artworks
                everything      were created in response to meeting and interacting with people who live in the area’s sheltered housing.
                else



                                                                      A2
Organisation   Project Title   Project Description


Brownfield     1950s day       Brownfield Road Allotment Association delivered an Open Day, which supported the social engagement of local
Road                           communities. It focussed on sharing and learning about nature in the urban environment and local history brought to life
Allotments                     through oral narratives of those whose reminiscences of Shard End in the decade of the 1950’s.


Karis          Karis           The project aimed to reduce the feelings of isolation amongst people in the Ladywood ward. It established a social group
               Neighbour       that participated in cultural activities together.
               Scheme


ACE Dance      Sharing         The project promoted the value of physical activity and healthy eating. The project allowed the dance classes to be free
and Music      Spaces          and for the cost of the performances to stay at an absolute minimum.


Big Brum       Suitcase        The concept of exploring migration and change existed before the project, but Big Brum wanted to work locally with
                               schools on this issue and so sought funding to deliver the project in 6 schools in Erdington. Erdington was a fairly mono
                               cultural area, and they wanted to explore the issue of migration to break down stereotypes and promote social cohesion.


My Space       My Space        The project delivered a programme of art workshops to create a series of temporary collaborative pieces of artwork, which
               Community       formed a physical arts trail linking up a number of divergent groups / communities in the Brookvale Park Area.
               Arts


Birmingham     The Hang        This project worked with a school to provide young people with the opportunity to develop their communication skills
Jazz                           (through musical performance), engage a non-traditional jazz audience (in their own community) and provide the youth
                               jazz group with the opportunity to develop their mentoring skills.


Midlands       Mid-Autumn      The intention of the event was to help support Vietnamese interests and values as well as providing non-Vietnamese
Vietnamese     Festival        people a lesson into their culture.
Refugee
Community
Association


Free @ Last    Bloomsbury      The aim of the Fun Day was to promote well being and community cohesion in Nechells. In addition to arts and crafts
               Park Fun Day    activities there were stalls promoting health programmes, local Third Sector, community and Faith groups, the WM Fire
                               Service, the police and various environmental agencies.


                                                                    A3
Organisation     Project Title   Project Description


IKON             Lunar Table     Ikon engaged Dutch artist Marjolijn Dijkman who presented a reproduction of the table in the gallery as part of her
                 Conversions     forthcoming exhibition, around which she intends to hold a series of “Lunar Conversations”. The project used multiple
                                 tables across Ladywood, and they were staffed by artists, Ikon staff and representatives from local cultural organisations.
                                 Conversations were guided by topics discussed by the original society over 200 years ago, and also focussed specifically
                                 on culture and the arts.


St Georges       Newtown         The project aimed to attract people from across Newtown, Lozells and Hockley. Representatives from all communities
Post 16 centre   Community       were involved in managing the event and the aim is to build trust, breakdown barriers and reduce the effects of
                 Fun Day 2010    territoriality.


Round            Creative Arts   The project included live drama, digital video, and visual art. A disused shop will be transformed into a gallery celebrating
Midnight         Limited         Erdington, and what it means to its communities, what makes it unique and what bring them together.




                                                                       A4
         Emerging Festivals Fund

Organisation    Project Title      Project Description


Birmingham      Harmonic           ‘Harmonic’ was an artist-led jazz festival that focused on the promotion of Birmingham-based musicians, the creation of
Jazz            Festival           new work through commissioning new bands and international collaborations, and developing existing audiences as well
                                   as engaging new ones. It represented the young, creative and diverse jazz musicians living and working in the city.


Gallery 37      Visualise          Visualise was a festival of art by young people. The festival used a range of venues including museums, galleries,
Foundation      Festival           schools, libraries and community settings to encourage young people to visit a range of exhibitions and events across the
                                   city centre and in local neighbourhoods.


Stan's Café     The BE             The BE Festival was a four day international festival of physical theatre, dedicated to crossing linguistic and cultural
                Festival           borders. The aim was to promote cultural interchange between Birmingham and Europe through an event uniting
                                   professional performance, educational opportunities and entertainment.


Traditional     Slaying The        ‘Slaying the Dragon’ was a five day festival on the days surrounding St. Georges Day. The premise was to introduce
Arts            Dragon             Birmingham residents and visitors to the cultural and entertainment value of traditional English performance arts. The
Foundation                         programme included traditional song, dance, storytelling and other literature.


Friction Arts   Inside out         The ‘Inside Out Festival’ (IOF) used the architecture and open spaces of Digbeth and Highgate to create a visual feast
                Festival           that reflects the diversity and unique stories of the local communities. Using the theme “awkward and extraordinary”, local
                                   and national artists were able to create art works and installations housed at The Edge venue.


Nu Century      The Flyover        The Flyover show is a community inspired festival which took a focus on black femininity and its role in shaping unique
Arts            Show               style and content. The Flyover Show recognised the full range and diversity within Black female performers.


The Drum        Simmer Down        The event included a one day music event in Handsworth Park and a week –long programme of music, visual arts and
                Festival           participatory arts workshops at The Drum. ‘Simmer Down’ celebrated Birmingham’s rich heritage of reggae musicians,
                                   and was designed to appeal specifically to local people in Perry Bar.


Kinky Hair      Black Union        The festival was Birmingham's first region specific film festival that celebrated Black British cinema. The event featured a
Community       Film Festival      combination of community, classic and commercial films to ensure that Black British culture locally and nationally was
Arts                               featured in the festival. The festival also supported a series of educational and creative events.

                                                                          A5
        Festivals Challenge Fund

Organisation      Project Title     Project Description


Punch             BASS Festival     The BASS Festival (Black British Arts and Street Sounds) is the UK’s only month-long event celebrating black music and
                  2010              arts. 2010's festivals theme was “DNA – what makes you, you?” The programme consisted of 9 major events, plus a
                                    series of professional development master classes/seminars, and an exhibition featuring the work of artists.


CAPSULE           Supersonic        This festival has established a national and international reputation as a leading event in avant-garde music. Capsule re-
                  Festival          scheduled the festival from July to October, had a change of venue, and developed both the artistic programme and the
                                    marketing plan. The core of the programme remained as live music performances.


Birmingham        Festival Extra/   ‘Festival Extra’ created and facilitated writing groups in hard to reach wards of the city; invested in high profile UK writers;
Book Festival     Audience          brought international writers to Birmingham and enabled a city-based writer to travel to international literature festivals. A
                  Development       programme of audience development established partnerships with Neighbourhood Managers in hard to reach areas.
                  Project


Flatpack          Flatpack          Flatpack aims to establish their national and international reputation as a unique way to explore new directions in film, to
Festival          Festival          develop and highlight emerging talent, to help make Birmingham an exciting place to work and live, and to build Flatpack
                                    into an thriving and sustainable organisation. To do this they held a six day film festival taking place across Birmingham
                                    and Eastside.


Rhubarb           Walking as        Walking as One Birmingham created an opportunity for individuals to walk together through a particular street in
Rhubarb           One               Birmingham City Centre and be captured by a unique instrument pixel by pixel. The image was then displayed on the side
                  Birmingham        of the Library of Birmingham.


Fierce Festival   Fierce Festival   Fierce animated a disused site in Birmingham with a playful and distinctive piece of temporary architecture. Once
                                    constructed, the site operated as the festival hub leading up to and including the Fierce festival. There were also a series
                                    of curated events including talks, performances and space for community-organised and initiated events.


Birmingham        Birmingham        The festival ran a full programme over 10 days featuring additional programme features including daily blues events, a live
International     International     link up with a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, street performances, a photographer in residence and choir master-
                  Jazz and
                                                                           A6
Organisation    Project Title    Project Description


Jazz Festival   Blues Festival   classes.




                                                       A7
         International Partnerships Programme

Organisation     Project Title           Project Description


Birmingham       North American Tour     Tour to the USA to take up an invitation to participate in the Virginia Arts Festival and provide four performances
Royal Ballet                             of Swan Lake.


Chitraleka       Maya Ayam               Following the withdrawal of a partner in Canada, Chitraleka instead toured to India and gave four performances of
                                         Maya Ayam and a further three performances in the UK.


Ex Cathedra      North American Tour     Ex Cathedra gave one performance as part of a festival in New York. It was hoped that performances in Boston
                                         and Washington would also take place but these could not be arranged.


Fierce           Symphony of a           In a change to the original proposal Fierce instead toured this exhibition to Belgium and Sweden. It was also
                 missing room            shown in Birmingham.




Punch            Road to the Punjab      Punch's Road to the Punjab exhibition toured to New York.


Sampad           In the further soil     Linked to India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, Sampad undertook nine performances of this show in
                                         India and a further six in the UK.


School of        Paradigma               The Paradigma jewellery exhibition toured to a gallery in Beijing which is owned by a former student of the
Jewellery                                School.


Sonia Sabri      Kathak Box              The company toured to Abu Dhabi and provided two performances of the specially developed piece Kathak Box.


Stan's Café      The Cardinals           Stan's Café gave five performances of The Cardinals in Montpellier, France.


Ulfah Arts       Hakawatiyyah - Muslim   Ulfah Arts created a musical storytelling production with the help and stories from UK Muslim women. The piece
                 Women Music Makers      was then toured in Kosovo, Norway and the UK.


                                                                       A8
Organisation   Project Title           Project Description


VIVID          Inbindable Volume and   Following the withdrawal of a partner in Italy, VIVID was able to secure a new partner in Sweden which hosted the
               The Daily Battle        Inbindable Volume exhibition which had been created in Birmingham. In collaboration with a partner in Germany
                                       The Daily Battle was exhibited in Birmingham.


Dance          Company Decalage        Company Decalage, an associate artist with Dance Exchange visited four European countries and provided 13
Xchange                                international performances.




                                                                    A9
Annex Two: Research Brief




        A10
Research Brief
Evaluating the impact of the BCP WNF Commissioning Programme – Research
Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP) is commissioning a piece of research to evaluate the cultural, social and
economic impact of the BCP commissioning (grant) programmes funded through the Working Neighbourhoods Fund
(WNF).
1. Background & Context
What is the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP)?
The Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP) is one of the thematic partnerships within the framework of Be Birmingham,
the Local Strategic Partnership. It is a multi-agency grouping including representatives from arts, heritage, museums,
libraries, sport and leisure, tourism, skills, Higher Education and regional development sectors. See:
http://www.bebirmingham.org.uk/page.php?id=12
Our Strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010-2015’
The focus of the work of BCP is provided by the cultural strategy ‘Big City Culture 2010-2015’. This sets out the shared
priorities for the development of services and initiatives in the cultural sector. The strategy aims to ensure that residents
enjoy a better quality of life and that culture makes a stronger contribution to the city economy.
The aims and objectives of the strategy have been translated into cultural targets within the current Local Area
Agreement.
The targets relevant for this research are (measured by):

•   NI8 Increasing adult participation in sport and active recreation (Sport England Active People Survey)

•   Closing the gap between participation in the four constituencies with low participation, Perry Barr, Erdington, Hodge
    Hill and Ladywood as measured against the remaining six Birmingham constituencies (Birmingham Opinion Survey)

•   Improving perceptions of Birmingham as a cultural capital (Marketing Birmingham TNS survey)

Four commissioning programmes were developed and delivered to support the LAA targets (see Appendix One)
Small Grants Scheme (SGS): to support cultural activity that brought the residents of Erdington, Hodge Hill, Ladywood
or Perry Barr together
Emerging Festivals Programme (EFF): to provide ‘seed’ funding support for new and emerging independent festivals
which have the best potential for raising Birmingham’s profile to attract more people, trade and opportunities through
renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high
quality facilities, programmes and activities locally.
Festivals Challenge Fund (FCF): to support independent festivals which have the best potential for raising Birmingham’s
profile to attract more people, trade and opportunities through renowned facilities and events across the cultural, sport
and creative sectors, and ensuring residents have access to high quality facilities, programmes and activities locally.
The International Partnership Programme (IPP): to improving visitors’ perceptions of Birmingham as a great place to
visit by raising the international profile of the city’s cultural offer
See Appendix Two for further details




                                                              A11
2. The Brief
Purpose
BCP is commissioning research to better understand the cultural, social and economic impact of its commissioned
programmes.
Focus of the Work
Research that covers the full range of commissioning programmes and answers the following:

•   What were the economic impacts of the commissioned programmes? (visitor, creative and symbolic)

•   What were the social impacts of the commissioning programmes? (individual, community and institutional)

•   What were the cultural outcomes?

These should relate back to the assessment criteria for each programme.
Outcomes

•   an understanding, backed by evidence, of the outcomes (at programme level not individual commission) of each
    specific programme and collectively

•   an understanding of how effective the programmes were in terms of value for money and return on investment

•   an analysis of the research which sets out how to improve the outcomes from a commissioning process

Outputs

•   a clear, robust and appropriate research methodology to deliver the outcomes required

•   a final publishable report analysing and setting out key findings, issues and challenges with case studies

Inputs from the Cultural Partnership

•   Supporting and contextual information e.g. prospectus, bid documents

•   Individual evaluation reports, where available

Timescale
The research and final report to be completed by 31 March 2011




                                                            A12
                            Sarah Jenkins
                         Senior Consultant

                        ECORYS UK LTD
                          Vincent House,
                             Quay Place,
                     92-93 Edward Street,
                             Birmingham,
                                  B1 2RA

                 Tel +44 (0) 0845 313 7455
                Fax: +44 (0) 0845 313 7454
      Email: Sarah.Jenkins@uk.ecorys.com
                           www.ecotec.com




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