Culture, tourism & sport bulletin: February 2024

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Culture, Tourism and Sport bulletin

February 2024

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Dear Colleagues,

I look forward to seeing many of you at our free online LGA Annual Culture, Tourism and Sport Conference on 5 March 2024. This year’s theme is ‘change and sustainability’, and we have an exciting programme with a range of notable speakers and interactive workshops including an introduction from the Secretary of State Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP. We will be discussing how the national system of support and funding should be adapted and delegates will have the opportunity to shape the LGA’s lobbying engagement with Ministers and opposition parties and see how councils are delivering innovative projects on sustainability and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion throughout their local areas.

Over the next two years the CTS Board will take an in-depth look at a range of inequalities with the aim of sharing effective practice within the sector. This week we have also launched our call for evidence on supporting women and girls to be active. We welcome your case studies and evidence to help us share effective practice and inform our discussions with national stakeholders.

This month I published an article on Arts Professional in my capacity as chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport board about the need for the culture sector’s support, and the fundamental role the sector plays for our residents' wellbeing, providing employment and attracting visitors to our towns, cities and countryside. I also recorded a session for the Cultural Enterprise Podcast to talk about the current challenges facing our culture sector which will be available soon.

We are also delighted to join local government partners in a new National Alliance for Cultural Services, which will inform and influence the development of national policy for publicly funded culture. It is urging Government to provide a long-term, sustainable and multi-year funding settlement to local authorities ahead of the Budget, to protect continued investment in cultural provision. More detail on this new partnership is later on in the bulletin.

Do get in touch with the team if you would like to discuss any of our work at

Kind regards,

Cllr Liz Green,

Chair of the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board


Call for evidence: Supporting women and girls to be active

Over the next two years the CTS Board will look at a range of inequalities with the aim of sharing effective practice within the sector. We have launched our first call for evidence looking at supporting women and girls to be active. Research shows that women are persistently less active than men and the gender gap starts from a young age with 4 in 10 women not active enough to ensure they get the full health benefits. We are looking for case studies and examples of initiatives to get women and girls active to help us develop a resource hub and evidence to inform our discussions with national stakeholders. Find out how you can contribute.

Local Government partners launch National Alliance for Cultural Services

Cultural services like libraries, museums and theatres are essential to thriving, vibrant local places, contributing to economic growth, the health and wellbeing of communities and educational outcomes. But a fresh approach is needed to sustain them in the future, a new partnership of organisations representing local government has said today, as they launch a new National Alliance for Cultural Services.

The new National Alliance for Cultural Services brings together the principal representative organisations for local government to:

  • provide a collective voice for local government cultural services
  • offer a clear point of contact for consultation on these services with the experts who run them
  • inform debate on their funding and governance; and
  • support councils to deliver and shape cultural services that meet the needs of their communities

Members of the Alliance are: The Local Government Association; The Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association; Key Cities; Core Cities; The County Councils Network; The District Councils Network; London Councils; The Rural Services Network.

University of Southampton: Cultural Strategies

The University of Southampton is leading a project examining how local authorities in England are aligning culture with place, health and the environment through cultural strategies and compacts. One of the outputs is a Cultural strategies online database. This searchable database includes direct links to cultural strategy documents accessible on local authority websites and can be filtered in several ways. There is also a report on Cultural strategies and futures which outlines its findings and makes key recommendations

Neighbouring Data

Neighbouring Data, an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project is exploring the creation, use and representation of hyper-local qualitative data in place-based decision making. They have recently published an interim report showcasing their work with local authorities and the importance of qualitative data and data experiences.

Diverse Capacities

Diverse Capacities, an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, is exploring networks and relationships between local government officers and creative practitioners. They have recently published a blog post on using postcards to connect Local Government Officers and Creative Practitioners.

National Centre for Creative Health and NHS England launches online Creative Health Toolkit

The toolkit aims to support systems to work with their communities and to develop their own approach to Creative Health strategies. It focuses on Creative Health in three areas: In Systems; In Context; and In Action. The toolkit supports commissioners, link workers and the voluntary community social enterprise sector to work collaboratively and deliver better health outcomes for communities and individuals.

Research into levels of public investment in museums

The research was commissioned by the Arts Council and carried out by DC Research and Wavehill and provides a comprehensive set of data that can support museums, local authorities and stakeholders with budget planning, and encourage a strategic and collaborative approach to considering the funding challenges facing both museums and local government. The report compares budgets on museums and galleries and spending in disadvantaged communities in recent financial years.

Centre for Cultural Value: new cultural digest

The Centre for Cultural Value’s new research digest brings together studies and research from different disciplines and practices that provide insight into how regular and sustained cultural engagement can have an impact on people's lives. Take a deep dive into the research around lifelong cultural engagement – and read online.

Heart Valve Voice

Heart Valve Voice is the UK’s dedicated heart valve disease charity who works with patients and clinicians to help increase the awareness of heart valve disease in the UK and improve diagnosis and treatment. Previously they have hosted a series of heart check events at libraries across the UK for older people, which had over 500 people attend, nine per cent of which were referred to their doctor for further investigation. Heart Valve Voice are looking to host most of these events across the country. If you’re interested and want to find out more please contact

Free-to-access, online evaluation training from the Centre for Cultural Value

Would you like to learn from experts, develop new approaches and build your evaluation skills and confidence? Together with the University of Leeds, the Centre for Cultural Value has developed a free-to-access online course: Evaluation for Arts, Culture and Heritage: Principles and Practice. You can start at any time and gain two weeks free access to all course content by registering on the FutureLearn website.

Healthy places/planning for health

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a survey to better understand the healthy places/planning for health workforce’s knowledge, skills, challenges, and opportunities for growth. This survey is relevant for those working in public health, planning, urban design, environmental health, transport, among others. The survey closes on 1 March and for any questions, contact

Exploring preventative investment in local government

Over the next two years the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) will be undertaking a project, supported by the Health Foundation, to explore the extent to which local authorities’ spending on preventative action can be quantified, with the aim of increasing the transparency on levels of preventative investment.

Levelling the Playing Field Playbook

Levelling the Playing Field is immensely proud of its network of specialist partners in the community and secure estate who use sport and physical activity to positively impact ethnically diverse children. They wanted to celebrate their work and showcase their impact, so we've put together the Levelling the Playing Field Playbook. It's a collection of amazing stories show people and organisations in numerous related sectors what's possible when you combine sport and physical activity with training, local role models, mentors, partnerships, expertise, care and dedication.

Buddle: Sport England Launch

Sport England has launched Buddle, a Grassroots sports clubs and community physical activity group programme. The National Lottery-funded programme – which replaces their Club Matters offering and provides free learning and support resources to inspire and strengthen clubs and organisations offering sport and physical activity, as well the professionals that work with them. 


Peer challenges for culture and library services

The LGA and Arts Council England are offering opportunities for councils to take part in a fully-funded culture or library services peer challenge. The purpose is to help provide insights and recommendations that can help to inform your strategic activity. The peer challenge takes place over two days, either online or face to face. A peer team will work to your brief, engage with internal and external stakeholders and bring examples of good practice from their own organisations and from across the sector. The process is designed to be a supportive and transparent. To find out more and to see if this is something that could be useful for your organisation please email

£15 million for the Cultural Development Fund

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has recently opened the fourth round of the Cultural Development Fund. The funding will help create local job opportunities and new training places while supporting local cultural institutions as they look to attract tourists and new businesses, helping to grow the economy. So far, 20 projects have received a combined total of £76.8 million since 2019, with arts centres, community venues and heritage buildings among the beneficiaries. Previous funding rounds are already making a real difference, with places like Barnsley, Worcester, Plymouth, Stockport and the Isle of Wight receiving transformative investment.

Museum Estate and Development Fund: Round 4

Arts Council England has opened the forth round of the Museum Estate and Development Fund. This is an open-access capital fund targeted at non-national Accredited museums and local authorities based in England to apply for funding to undertake vital infrastructure and urgent maintenance backlogs which are beyond the scope of day-to-day maintenance budgets. The Expression of Interest form opens at 9am on Monday 4 March 2024, deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is midday on Thursday 18 April 2024 and deadline for submitting full applications is midday on Thursday 15 August 2024.


LGA Annual Culture, Tourism and Sport Conference – 5 March 2024, South Tyneside

The LGA’s Annual Culture, Tourism and Sport Conference will provide an opportunity to explore change within local services and will consider devolution, sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion. Speakers include Huw Edwards, Chief Executive of UKActive, Feimatta Conteh, Sustainability Manager in Environmental Responsibility for, Arts Council England and many more.

Arts Council Project grant roadshows for libraries

Arts Council England is hosting a series of workshops to public libraries wishing to apply to Project Grants for funding. It will include a presentation overview of the programme and application process and will look at how activities supporting any of the Universal Library Offers can make good project proposals. Workshops will be held in Leeds (29 February), London (6 March), Exeter (8 March) and Manchester (11 March)

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