Manchester Theatres Development Study
We were jointly commissioned by Manchester City Council and Arts Council England to undertake a major strategic review of theatres in Manchester and Salford (total funding in excess of £5m) and to work with a joint funders group to develop a ten-year strategy for theatre development. The work included reviews (analysing financial, programme and operational performance) of the Royal Exchange, The Lowry, the Library Theatre, Contact Theatre and the Green Room.
Cardiff Venues Study - performing arts venues review
Cardiff Council and the Arts Council of Wales jointly commissioned us to carry out a review into theatre provision in the City in the lead-up to the opening of the Wales Millennium Centre. The review involved a detailed reappraisal of all of the City's main performing arts venues, including structural assessments of the buildings sub-contracted from Austin Smith Lord; preparation of a performing arts programme development strategy for the City; and a capital development needs assessment in order to inform future strategic planning.
Youth Dance England - National Plan evaluation
From autumn 2008 to July 2011 we worked with Youth Dance England as evaluator of the £5.5m national young people's dance development programme funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families' Music and Dance Scheme and Arts Council England. This evaluation programme was delivered in partnership with nine regional partner organisations and a variety of other dance agencies and involved close working with Youth Dance Strategy Managers in each region and assessing the impact of regional development plans including the partnership with County and sub-regional agencies.
Southampton New Arts Complex
Southampton City Council commissioned Artservice to provide an objective view of the capital scheme; this led to our being commissioned as Business Consultants to work with the Council in developing the scheme. This has involved: business planning; working with the design team (Glenn Howells Architects) and inputting on a regular basis into the design process; advising the Council on the governance and management arrangements for the arts complex; and developing all aspects of the business model. This development is a private-public partnership of a new cultural quarter with Grosvenor Estates - new venue is scheduled to open in 2016.
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Aylesbury Vale District Council commissioned us to advise and support the Council on the management and tendering process for the new £45m 1200-seat Waterside Theatre. We worked continuously with Council officers for three years, undertaking research into community needs; attending design meetings; and liaising closely with the two preferred commercial operators, over an eighteen month period. We worked as part of a small officer team to put together the tender specification and contract documentation and were closely involved in the tender assessment team and interview process leading to the awarding of the contract to Ambassadors Theatre Group (ATG).
Arts Council of Wales - review of Arts Lottery Capital Programme
We were commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales to carry out a ten-year review of the Arts Council's Lottery Capital Programme. This involved analysis of all major projects over the period, the preparation of several case study reports, and consultation with the arts sector and other partners. The review set out the parameters for future capital scheme funding support that formed the basis of the new Lottery Capital policy and revised guidelines introduced in 2012.
Hampshire County Council - review of arts service
Hampshire County Council commissioned Artservice to carry out a review of its arts services. The Arts Office, one of the largest Local Authority arts services in the UK, spent over £2m per annum and had a staff of over fifty people. The work involved assessing and reviewing all aspects of the County's work in the arts including its staffing structures and direct services, including four directly-operated arts centres, its events programmes, and work with over twenty annually funded organisations. The Council implemented the review's recommendations introducing a more coherent and streamlined delivery structure.
Northcott Theatre, Exeter - organisational and business review
In 2010 we were commissioned to work with Exeter City Council, Arts Council England and the University of Exeter on a rescue plan for the Northcott Theatre, aimed at bringing the Theatre out of administration. This intensive programme of consultancy involved analysis of different management and operational options with associated business planning; and a reconstruction of the staffing and business models. The work required collaborative working with the above partners and with the Theatre's Chief Executive and University finance team to produce a sustainable programme and financial model for the Theatre. As a result the Theatre was brought out of administration and a new charitable management organisation created.
Newark on Trent festivals impact study
We were commissioned by Newark and Sherwood District Council, in partnership the Regional Development Agency, to evaluate the impact of a programme of festivals and events development on Newark on Trent Town Centre. The programme consisted of six events and was evaluated over a three-year period. The final evaluation report provided the first in-depth study of festivals impact on a market town; the findings were disseminated regionally at conferences and the resulting publication was distributed widely.
Arts Council England West Midlands - regional youth dance audit
Arts Council England West Midlands commissioned Artservice to undertake a regional audit of youth dance to inform the future development of youth dance in the region as part of Youth Dance England's national development programme. This involved research into youth dance activity across the region, including consultation with a variety of agencies and individuals involved with youth and community dance. The resulting review report and recommendations enabled the West Midlands region to make a flying start to its regional youth dance development programme which was one of the most successful nationally.
New Art Exchange - new contemporary art gallery development
Artservice initially prepared a feasibility study for a new contemporary art gallery in the Hyson Green area of Nottingham; this led to us being commissioned to work over a six month period to bring the £5.5m scheme to fruition. Our work involved supporting the new board and project team; inputting into the building designs; and carrying out preparatory organisational development work. We developed the vision and also produced artistic, marketing, education and access plans and a business plan to support its successful capital funding applications.
aspex - new gallery development
We worked with aspex staff and board on the creation of a new gallery and centre for the visual arts in a former naval arsenal (1808) forming part of the Gunwharf Quays waterside regeneration scheme in Portsmouth. We reviewed organisational and board structures, produced a business and development plan and supported the organisation in negotiations with funders, with Berkeley's Homes, the developer of the site, and in identifying other funding sources. We also advised on the appointment of the design team and assisted with design team interviews. This successful contemporary gallery opened in 2006.
Towner Gallery, Eastbourne - gallery and conference centre capital scheme
We were initially commissioned by the Borough Council to carry out a best value review of the Devonshire Park Theatres. This led to a further commission to undertake a feasibility study and business plan for the re-location of the Towner Gallery into the Devonshire Park arts and conference complex, including the building of a major new gallery facility as part of the development. This very successful £9 million scheme secured Arts Lottery Capital, SRB and HLF funding as a result of the work undertaken and opened in 2010.