A report by three former arts executives highlights an imbalance between arts funding for London and the regions. Our region has been in receipt of the lowest level of funding awards per household.  Culture First Director Jane Wilson, considers the complexities of the problem and suggests it is due to the urban-centric and building biased nature of arts investment.

National Trails

The Prime Minister has announced the centrepiece of his plans to secure a sporting legacy for Britain after the success of the Olympics; a new PE curriculum for primary schools with a requirement to offer competitive team sports such as football, netball and hockey.  This news comes amidst an ongoing debate about the future of school sport, following the decision by the education secretary Michael Gove to significantly reduce funding for organised school sport, which has resulted in the closure of many school sports partnerships. 

The National Planning Policy Framework recognizes a social role for the planning system, and for the first time not just social, but specifically cultural-well being.  Over the coming months Culture First will be working with partners to explore sustainable routes to deliver on cultural well-being.  We are also planning a briefing note to help you better understand the issue.  In the meantime we would really welcome your input to give us an insight into the extent to which this recognised as an opportunity or challenge locally.

How ready is your area to benefit from the Government’s Big Society agenda? The New Local Government Network has taken data from the Audit Commission’s Place Survey to estimate readiness for the Big Society. In the East of England some communities are better prepared for the Big Society than others, with scores varying from 25.5 in Harlow to 39.1 in Uttlesford.

Back in March we asked you to help us better understand the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review on service budgets over the next two years by completing an online survey. Working with CLOA we analysed the results and have produced a snapshot of the challenges the culture and sport sector faces.

Local Government Improvement & Development (LGID) is creating a new and significantly different version of CSIT.   They are consulting with the sector on the draft of the new toolkit and would value your views.