Toolkit launched to unlock new audiences and revenues for the arts - A new toolkit to help arts and cultural organisations grow their digital products and services has been launched. Designed to guide users through digital product development, including building a business plan, communicating need with stakeholders and user testing,  the toolkit has been developed by Nesta, Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their work on the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. Available to download at the toolkit will be accompanied online by a collection of written guides which explore four key themes; data, accessibility, mobile and business models.

Engaging in Commissioning – a practical resource pack for the culture and sport sector - Engaging in commissioning is a new practical resource pack jointly produced by the LGA, cCLOA, Sport England and the Arts Council. It aims to help the sector engage with other public services through commissioning, to bring sport and culture to more people and contribute to better outcomes for individuals and communities. The resources have been informed by the practical experience of councils and cultural sector organisations and distil the lessons learned. There is a self-assessment guide to help you assess where you are and a step by step guide to help you plan your approach.

Procurement Toolkit - Sport England has published a toolkit and guidance on leisure contracts and procurement. Developed in partnership with the sector the focus is to assist client bodies (like Local Authorities) adopt good practice, reduce cost and time in the process and to achieve contract partnerships which can deliver local outcomes.  You can download the documents here.

A guide to developing a local outcomes framework for culture and sport - Working with Local Government Association on behalf of cCLOA we've produced an updated version of the highly valued Outcomes Framework for Culture & Sport which can help you demonstrate the contribution culture and sport makes to better outcomes for individuals, communities and places. This online tool reflects the latest policy developments and we have created a fact sheet about how to get the most out of the tool, outlining the benefits of developing your own outcomes framework, explaining the elements that form the framework and also providing an overview of the stages involved in creating your own version locally. Culture First were also involved in facilitating the pilot phase; Heidi Bellamy shares her experience and offers 'top tips' in a podcast here......

Community sport asset transfer toolkit - Sport England has launched a toolkit to support sports clubs and local authorities who are considering community asset transfer of sports facilities.  Developed in partnership with Locality (the UK's leading network for community-led organisations) the interactive web-based toolkit provides a step by step guide through the process.  You can access the toolkit  here......

Leisure Procurement toolkit - The Sport England procurement toolkit has been updated, with new resources now available. The leisure contracts and procurement toolkit places importance on achieving local outcomes, and aligns with the new strategy Towards an Active Nation. Revised documents now reflect legislative changes and should replace previous guidance.  You can access the toolkit here.

Community Libraries – good practice toolkit - Community Libraries toolkit is aimed at communities who are looking to establish community libraries and heads of library services who are supporting communities considering taking over or establishing a community managed library. The toolkit follows the process from community engagement through to setting up a community managed library from a local authority and community perspective. It includes regulatory and operational issues that need to be considered and also looks at volunteering schemes in local authority libraries.

Audience Spectrum segmentation & profiling tool - The Audience Agency has launched an arts and museums tool designed to support cultural organisations to better understand their audiences. Referencing large data sets including Taking Part and the new Audience Finder national database, Audience Spectrum segments the population based on cultural engagement and participation, behaviours and preferences.  It provides a more detailed analysis of the broader arts and heritage market with the practical geo location benefits of commercial products like the Mosaic and ACORN market classification systems. Ten new culturally active segments have been developed as part of Audience Spectrum with detailed pen portraits and helpful statistics as well as practical advice on how to engage each segment and useful case studies. View Audience Spectrum here.

Sport England MOVES tool - Sport England has developed a tool that will help you to understand the health and economic benefits of physical activity. It shows how much the risk of key diseases - like cardiovascular disease and diabetes - has been lowered for those who play sport. MOVES can estimate the value of an existing or planned programme of physical activity and sport among a specific population group. At the heart of MOVES is an "epidemiological engine" containing UK data regarding the population, age and gender and related disease rates for conditions capable of being changed through improved sport and physical activity. To find out more about how the tool works, and to use it, you will need to create an account on the Sport England website.

There are a number of self-assessment tools to help local authorities evaluate the range, quality and value of the services they provide

The Culture & Sport Improvement Toolkit was developed to provide a more coherent approach and offers a single tool to support self-assessment and self-improvement across the culture and sport sector.  It was rolled out nationally in 2008 along with a range of external challenge processes including peer review, validation and peer supported improvement.

Other self-assessment approaches include

Towards an Excellent Service (TAES) - TAES was originally developed to improve performance management in sport and recreation services.  It has now been superseded by the culture and sport improvement toolkit.  However a version has now been developed specifically for the parks and open spaces sector.

Inspiring Learning for All - Developed by MLA the aim of Inspiring Learning for All is to help museums, libraries and archives transform the way they deliver and engage users in learning.  The self-help framework seeks to provide evidence of the impact of activities through the generic learning and generic social outcomes and improve strategic and operational performance.

The Culture & Sport Planning Toolkit  is a practical source of information and advice for practitioners involved in planning for culture and sport. It aims to provide greater consistency in how planning authorities assess the need for culture and sport and build this into their plans. The tool sets out the minimum infrastructure provision based on per head of local population.