Arts Council opens £6m fund for museums and cultural leadership

The Transforming Leadership fund aims to ensure that arts and cultural leaders are appropriately skilled to support the continued growth, diversity and long-term sustainability across museums, libraries and arts

Arts Council England say the fund has been developed following research that highlighted the need to ‘invest more in the arts and cultural workforce, which also revealed specific issues around the development of executive skills at senior level, opportunities for early career leaders and diversity across leadership’.

Leadership development providers are invited to apply for grants between £150,000-£1m, to deliver a range of programmes that together will reach over 500 leaders at all stages of their careers and make a significant impact on the sector. The fund will support proposals from providers including those that are able to bring in skills and learning from other sectors.

“For arts, culture and creativity to thrive we must invest as much in encouraging and developing people as we do in programming and buildings,” said Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England. “Diverse and effective leadership is an essential component for the success, growth and sustainability of the sector. This fund will create programmes that give arts and cultural leaders the time, space and resource to achieve their full potential, helping them ensure that museums, libraries and arts organisations are exciting and rewarding places in which to work.”

Programmes must begin no later 1 October 2019 and end no later than 31 March 2022. Application is a two-stage process and the deadline to submit an Expression of Interest is 12pm (midday), 7 February 2019.

Transforming Leadership

Transforming Leadership has been developed from and informed by two pieces of research commissioned by Arts Council England:

  1. Changing cultures: Transforming leadership in the arts, museums and libraries; a report by Kings College that aims to help us understand how leadership values and behaviours relate to organisational outcomes, and to determine how interventions work to develop executive leadership skills.
  2. Leadership, workforce development and skills in the arts, creative and cultural sector; an evidence review by Consilium assessing how the arts, creative and cultural sector has progressed since 2010 with regards to its leadership, skills, workforce development and workforce diversity.