Please briefly present the partner organisation.
Birmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974. It is the most populated local council in the United Kingdom (excluding counties) with 120 Birmingham City councillors representing over one million people, in 40 wards.
What are the activities and experience of the organisation in the areas relevant for this application?
Culture On Your Doorstep is an on-going programme of the following strands of work which includes provision and promotion of high quality cultural facilities and activities, relevant to residents and accessible in local neighbourhoods, in order to increase participation and bring local people together.
Arts Champions is a scheme designed to ensure that funded major arts organisations based in Birmingham’s city centre deliver audience development initiatives in outlying Districts across the city. The challenge is in administering the scheme to ensure that organisations meet their objectives and deliver outcomes including genuine engagement on the ground. Audiences have increased from 8,872 in 2011-12 to 18,166 in 2012-13 (51% increase). Participation has almost doubled from 1,103 in 2011-12 to 2,297 in 2012-13.
A Local Arts Forum has been established in each of the ten city Districts. The city council provides some seed funding to enable a local arts professional to manage the forum which is otherwise run by local residents. These Arts Fora provide a much improved understanding and coordination of cultural activity provision at local neighbourhood level and their success and membership is increasing year on year. Several Fora have since become constituted as not-for-profit organisations in their own right.
The ‘Culture Co-design Programme’ is a joint funded initiative with central government and the Arts Council of England. It is designed to enable residents to become involved in cultural co-design in their local neighbourhood. The real challenges have been to establish effective partnerships on the ground and to match activity to what residents identify. The challenges include each district having different needs and demographics resulting in varied projects of which some are proving more successful than others.
Please give information on the key staff/persons involved in this application and on the competences and previous experience that they will bring to the project.
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader, Birmingham City Council
A Councillor for twenty years, Ian was Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture from 2001-2004, became Deputy Leader of the Labour Group in 2005 and was appointed Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council in May 2012.
In his current role, his portfolio includes finance, land & property, human resources, performance improvement and sport as well as continuing to hold an overview of the city’s cultural assets. Ian also works closely with the portfolio holder for Skills, Learning & Culture and takes a lead on the City’s partnerships with arts & cultural organisations.
Ms Val Birchall FRSA, Assistant Director for Culture & Visitor Economy
Val is responsible for Birmingham City Council’s cultural strategy and for its relationships with funded organisations, direct delivery of cultural projects and programmes in arts, museums, heritage, strategic library services, major events and creative industries, and its strategic partnerships with the Visitor Economy sector.
Val is the Council’s senior adviser for culture and the lead officer for the UK Core Cities culture group. Core Cities represents the eight largest cities in England with an agenda of influencing national government concerning the important role of the regional capitals. Val has been an active member of the Culture Forum for many years, particularly on the Access to Culture working group, which she now chairs. She recently participated in the Culture Lab in Lyon. Val will provide appropriate support to Councillor Ward across the cultural agenda.
Mr Symon Easton, Head of Culture Commissioning
Symon leads the Council’s team supporting the delivery of localised arts activities and the commissioning arrangements which underpin Birmingham’s agenda for increasing and widening participation in culture. Symon is responsible for Birmingham’s Creative Future strategy, which provides a cultural entitlement model for young people’s engagement. Birmingham is the youngest major city in Europe, and has a long-held commitment to extending young people’s cultural opportunities and Symon will support Councillor Ward in these areas.
Mr James Burkmar, Head of Creative & Cultural Economy
James is the Council’s lead for creative industries, including film and music, and is responsible for creative sector strategy relating to economic growth. As the Council’s lead specialist in creative industries, James will support Councillor Ward in work around the future financial instruments for growing the sector and in the arena of spillover innovation between the creative and cultural sectors and other sectors in the economy.
Legal & Democratic Services
Head of Environment, Development & Planning Team
Telephone: 0121 303 4868
Ms Val Birchall
Culture and Visitor Economy
Assistant Director, Culture and Visitor Economy
Telephone: 0121 303 2919