The Arts Development Company can work with you to develop effective partnerships, policy, strategy and action across the creative economy.

We will help you to find creative solutions to persistent and pressing global challenges.

Our Approach

We believe a strong and vibrant creative sector needs:

  • Cross-sector collaboration and partnerships
  • Continuous and active research to drive improvement
  • A joined-up approach to strategy and delivery
  • Strong social impact data

These key areas can build a resilient, vibrant creative sector that delivers high-quality experiences with valuable, long-lasting impacts on our environments, wellbeing and economy.

Our team are driven by their knowledge, experience and passion for culture and how it can be used to positively transform people, communities and place.

Research and Development

Continuous, active learning means we can pinpoint gaps and find effective solutions for ourselves, other organisations and the wider sector. We’ve commissioned and undertaken research and provided training in the following areas:

  • Research into access and inclusive practice in Dorset’s cultural venues (with a focus on supporting disabled audiences and participants)
  • A national Research and Development project that supported experienced providers with developing online and digital products which enhance their physical counterparts
  • Research on how to measure your social impact
  • Facilitating action learning sets
  • Leading on Board development and facilitating away days
  • Providing bespoke team training for businesses and Local Authorities

Cultural Strategies

We research and write meaningful cultural strategies for a variety of clients. We ensure these are supported by effective delivery and investment mechanisms and endorsed by key stakeholders and funders. Our process for shaping cultural strategies often includes facilitating stakeholder engagement sessions, undertaking desk research and aligning cultural strategies to wider economic, political and social agendas and policies.

Dorset’s Cultural Strategy

We wrote the very first cultural strategy for Dorset, covering 2005 to 2009, and we’ve written and delivered on subsequent ones since.

The objectives of the strategies have been to build a cohesive culture sector in Dorset and to meet cross-sector priorities around placemaking and environment, health and wellbeing, economic growth and cultural tourism.

We worked closely with relevant supporting bodies to develop the strategies, including local authorities, Arts Council England, Bournemouth University, Arts University Bournemouth, and Dorset LEP, as well as culture organisations in the county.

We will be writing the next cultural strategy for Dorset next year for 2022-2027

Plymouth Culture – Cultural Strategy

We are currently contracted by Plymouth Culture to facilitate discussions with stakeholders across the city. We create space and opportunity for open, honest and ambitious conversations that get to the heart of what is great about Plymouth, what the city wants to achieve over the next 10 years and how to make that possible.

The Arts Development Company will also act as a critical friend to Plymouth Culture during the drafting and editing of the 10-year cultural strategy document.

Building Networks and Partnerships

The Arts Development Company is part of the British Council’s Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies Supplier Framework, with a specific remit to bring people together through co-designed, inclusive networks and partnerships in the UK and across the world.

We specialise in nurturing cross-sector networks and partnerships. We bring arts and culture together with health, education, environment and business to collaborate, share knowledge and unlock other funding streams and deliver on joint priorities.

What Next? Dorset

We helped initiate a brand-new chapter of the ‘What Next?’ national movement just before Christmas 2019, working with Dorset-based cultural consultant and ADC Chair, Hazel Province. WND is a space to share, debate and take action on issues facing the local and national culture sector, open to everyone working in and connected to the creative and culture sector in Dorset:: https://www.whatnextculture.co.uk/chapters/dorset/

Over 240 individuals from the creative sector are represented and zoom meetings often attract around 50 people. For the first time in Dorset, we have helped facilitate a platform for our artists and creative freelancers to have an equal voice alongside arts organisations, LA officers, educationalists and NPO’s. Young leaders are supported by the Arts Development Company to facilitate, and chair sessions and the chapter is being seen nationally as an example of good and innovative practice.

Strategic Planning

We develop high level policy and strategy for the cultural sector and creative economy. We can effectively understand and analyse complex and changing information and utilise our knowledge across a number of cultural policy areas, including Local authoritiy politics, regeneration, economy and planning. 

Culture Weston

We supported the set-up of a new cultural development company in Weston-super-Mare, co-commissioned by North Somerset Council and Arts Council England.

After our extensive research into the challenges, concerns and opportunities, we brought together a new consortia of 13 professionals from various sectors in Weston-super-Mare, including health, education, heritage, culture and the local authority. Together, through a series of creative workshops we facilitated, we shaped the identity and priorities of Culture Weston. Three working groups were also established to develop a delivery plan: Talent Development, Placemaking and Health. These included 50 plus sector professionals spanning education, business, health and tourism in Weston.

We then wrote and presented a full business plan with a three-year financial forecast, a series of job descriptions and roles for the new company and this all led to a significant investment into Culture Weston by Arts Council England.