Angel of the North

Culture Partnership welcomes report on Arts Council work

05 November 2014

The North East Culture Partnership (NECP) has welcomed the publication of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's report on the work of the Arts Council, which sets out challenges and opportunities for both the Arts Council and its partners for the future. The NECP fed into the committee's review earlier this year.

Cllr David Budd, Co-chair, NECP, who along with John Mowbray, gave evidence to the Select Committee, said: "We are pleased that the Committee has recognised the clear value of working in a cross sector cultural partnership such as that which we formed last year here in the North East. Among other things, we are working closely with the Arts Council on a strategic plan – a 15 Year Case for Culture, to which they are a keen and welcome contributor.  This, we anticipate, will help us all navigate a clear path to ensuring we have a vibrant cultural offer here in the North East both now and in the future which we see as essential to our economic and social development.”

John Mowbray, Co-chair, NECP, said: “The Committee urges the Arts Council to set up cultural partnerships with local authorities, universities and the private sector. Given that here in the North East we already have an established Culture Partnership, we’re ahead of the game. In the current climate, funding remains a challenge across the North East both in the cultural sector and among local authorities and so we know that we all need to press for a fair and equitable share of resources so that our communities are able to benefit from a rich, diverse and accessible cultural offer in the same way that others do. Looking forwards, I am confident that by working together we can achieve much.”

For further information contact:
Culture Partnership Manager: Matthew Jarratt on 07807 409990 or

North East Culture Partnership: Background and achievements 

The North East Culture Partnership (NECP) enables the region’s cultural organisations to work strategically with local authorities and business to develop the cultural agenda for the North East. Our partnership is ambitious about what culture can bring to communities and how it can create distinctiveness. In a time of change and economic challenge the NECP is campaigning for new funding and more regional influence over funding decisions as an important part of the region’s development.

Our Board of 24 includes elected members from each North East local authority as well as leaders from universities, arts and heritage organisations and business. NECP is supported within Association of North East Councils.

North East Culture Partnership is:
•    Developing 15 year vision for culture in the North East.
•    Providing advocacy for culture with LEPs and strategic brokerage around EU funding.
•    Working with NE business to develop 100 artists residencies.
•    Linking festival offer through a new festivals website.
•    Coordinating five universities support for creative SMEs.

In many ways NECP is taking on the strategy and development role left by Arts Council following their 50% staff reduction in 2013 and their move away from having regional governance to a North Area council.

NECP is working at a time of unprecedented local authority cuts which has seen a drastic reduction in the number of arts and heritage officers as well as challenging cuts to venues, events and libraries. Despite this the 12 local authorities, five universities and business sector continue to recognise the value of culture and the positive contribution it makes to the North East economy and communities.