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Project Overview: Arts Council England


"This may also prove to be the year in which the Arts Council wrote its own suicide note." - Lyn Gardner, Guardian 

"The arts council had a shambolic winter. Will its new boss put things right?" - Charlotte Higgins, Guardian 

Arts Council England had been widely criticised for its latest round of major funding decisions. The row had been covered in the national papers for several weeks. There were clear stakeholder and political issues.  


How did this happen and what could be changed?


Lyric was commissioned by ACE's then new Chief Executive, Alan Davey, to conduct an independent review of ACE's communications in the lead-up to the final funding decisions. This would run alongside Baroness Mackintosh's review of ACE's processes (covered in The Stage here)  Gill Kirk would interview a wide range of stakeholders to hear their views, and then produce a report with recommendations that would allow ACE to learn from the experience.


The final reports and recommendations (both on communications and process) were published and you can read them here.

The media spent an understandable time crunching the reviews' findings: 



The Arts Council promised a new era for its approach to funding (read more from The Guardian here) and Cheief Executive She Alan Davey said, "We have got relationships to rebuild with the sector and that's what I have been trying to do since arriving in February. 

"We do that with the way we behave. When we do the things that we have to do in the future - and that's make hard decisions - we will do so with clearer relationships and mutual respect."

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