Archive Events

Dec 05 2014 | 10:00
Dec 05 2014 | 15:45

Commissioning for culture and sport


Commissioning is increasingly a central part of the approach to redesigning council and partners services, because it offers a means of joining up resources to focus on improving outcomes for individuals and communities.  The challenge now is to position our sector so that the contribution it makes to the wider corporate agenda is universally acknowledged and to ensure that we shape service and activities to deliver outcomes that support commissioner’s priorities.

Speakers presentations and notes from the morning session

Welcome - Heidi Bellamy, Director, Culture First

The Cultural Commissioning Programme - Jessica Harris, Project Manager highlighted the findings from the recent research report, focusing on where the arts and cultural sector is particularly strong in its ability to deliver public service outcomes, where the challenges lie for the sector in engaging with commissioning, and some of the ways of tackling these challenges.  

A structured framework for incorporating arts and culture into the health and well-being services - Case study by Tony Witton, Arts & Cultural Services Manager & Jay Edwins, Partnerships Manager from Kent County Council, one of the Cultural Commissioning pilots  

Commissioning for sport and leisure - Mark Allman, Vice Chair of cCLOA and Maria Reader, Sport England.  The key learning from the national project to equip sport and leisure practitioners with a sophisticated understanding of local need, help build relationships with commissioners and re-shape the service offer to deliver priority outcomes.

Commissioning for activity and sport in Hertfordshire - Case study by Jim McManus, Director of Public Health in Hertfordshire outlining a countywide approach to commissioning exercise referral to help the prevention of long-term disease.

Speakers presentations and notes from the afternoon workshops

Councillor Teresa Heritage, Chair of Hertfordshire Lifestyle & Legacy Partnership - The role of Councillors in supporting commissioning opportunities for culture and sport

Eddie Gibson, Senior Manager, EELGA - The changing face of public procurement

Jill Dickinson, Head of Leisure Central Bedfordshire - Commissioning opportunities for physical activity

Lynda Martin, Service Development Manager for Cambridgeshire Libraries - Arts Alive in North Cambridgeshire Libraries 

Gavin Clayton, Executive Director, Arts & Minds - Arts on Prescription: a means to a new beginning

Linden Rowley - The behaviours and leadership traits necessary for providers to engage in commissioning as strategic players

Six ways to wellbeing: a collaborative programme by Kent County Council, Artswork and Royal Opera House

Richard Hunt, Head of Service Development, Suffolk County Council - Commissioning as a mechanism to increase participation  in sport and physical activity

Lucie Stephen, Head of Co-production, New Economics Foundation - Making Connections


The Cultural Commissioning Programme is funded by Arts Council England and is being delivered by NCVONPC and nef.  The programme is aimed at arts organisations, museums, libraries and archives and seeks to help the cultural sector develop skills and capacity to engage in commissioning.  

The Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA) were awarded funding by Sport England to lead a project to increase the understanding of the commissioning agenda amongst sport and leisure professionals, creating a step change in engagement with the commissioning process and increasing commissioner’s awareness of what the sector can contribute.

Culture First is the delivery partner in the East for the Cultural Commissioning Learning programme and also provides policy development and business support for cCLOA.  As part of our social mission we are committed to sharing learning, intelligence and good practice across the culture and sports sector.

East of England Local Government Association kindly hosted the event, they have identified commissioning as a priority for transforming the way local authorities spend money and acknowledge the role of Elected Members in supporting commissioning opportunities for culture and sport.