Archive Events

Mar 29 2011 | 10:00
Mar 29 2011 | 13:00

Cultural consortia building

The Cut, Halesworth


Consortia can offer an improved mechanism for providers and commissioners to work together to meet the needs of communities. The benefits for smaller organisations include better prospects of securing contracts and increased opportunities for joint service planning.

This event brought together over 40 representatives from local authority and civil society to consider the benefits of forming a consortium.

Neil Coulson, independent business consultant gave an overview of the benefits and the different models for consortia; Development Director of ConsortiCo, Carolyn Boyd Ltd talked about the practicalities of working in a consortium and the role of the 'hub'.

Suffolk County Council representatives offered insights into how this approach might support their future commissioning strategy and also enable the sector to better respond to a range of broader contract opportunities.


Neil has been working on consortium development for more than a decade, helping the voluntary sector organisations and other bodies to come together to bid for public service contracts.  He also co-authored the Consortium Toolkit, which has been disseminated nationally and is currently supporting consortium developments in a number of areas across the country.

New approaches to commissioning through consortium working

Carolyn worked as a commissioner for children’s services and also community health before moving to ConsortiCo, so has practical experience of both sides of the contracting system.

Introduction to formal consortia working, warts and all

Richard Catherall, Senior Group Business Development Manager at Suffolk County Council, has a keen interest in social entrepreneurship and is currently supporting proposals for divested services at SCC.

Working with Suffolk County Council in the future

Elspeth Gibson, Senior Strategic Manager, Suffolk County Council, is working to ensure a smooth transition of Public Health from the NHS to SCC and amongst her achievements is the award winning Healthy Ambitions project, which aims to make Suffolk the healthiest county.

The future role of Public Health in Local Authority: Challenges and opportunities for the cultural sector

Questions & Answers

Delegates spent time reflecting in small groups reflecting on and identified key questions for the panel.  Below is a summary of the questions and answers proffered.