The future of local cultural decision making – Culture Commons

‘The future of local cultural decision making’ is a 12-month open policy development programme, led by Culture Commons, that is convening local governments, academia and the arts and culture sector to explore the future of ‘devolution’ and increased local decision making

With devolution considered a policy imperative in the UK, the programme is developing a suite of policy recommendations for the future UK government on how best to structure and shape devolution for culture so that it delivers the best results for people. The aim is to support a more equitable and sustainable flourishing of creative and cultural activities across the UK.

The Foundation has contributed a grant of £30,000, complementing public funding from Arts Council England and British Council, and other funders including Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Our focus is on convening funders and exploring international examples of best practice. The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting stronger citizen voices in public policy development – ensuring that people have a say and are represented in local cultural decision making.

As part of the 12-month programme, Culture Commons are conducting a series of Knowledge Exchange sessions and a Steering Group summit to convene partners and collaborators. Each session produces a co-designed Insight Paper which promotes consensus, new ways of working, shared language and relational capacity between sector stakeholders working to support the ‘devolution revolution’. The Foundation is participating in these dialogues and recommending partners to join the conversations and diversify the expertise.

At the end of the programme, Culture Commons will publish a document for key decision makers outlining their findings and recommendations for the future of cultural devolution. The hope is to inform the design of new policy in the UK Government departments after the 2024 General Election.

The programme is successfully identifying the challenges and opportunities in devolved local cultural decision, aiming to producing policy positions that empower the sector, mitigate geographical inequalities and help foster a more inclusive and co-designed cultural landscape in the UK – a priority for the Foundation’s Access to Culture programme.

Updated on 12 june 2024

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