DCMS Tailored Review commends Arts Council

Posted on 24 April 2017

DCMS has conducted a review of Arts Council England which focuses on efficiency, effectiveness and governance.  The review took a largely positive view of our work, stating that “having built up its reputation over 70 years, many stakeholders felt the Arts Council was currently at a ‘high point’ in its history.” It also recognised that “Arts and culture provide an enormous amount of value to people, communities and society.”

Reviews of this kind take place every few years, for all non-departmental public bodies. We were asked to demonstrate how we get best value for the taxpayer and our sector, and DCMS consulted with some of our stakeholders to find out their views about how we’re working. The review looked into how our structures and processes help us deliver our strategy, Great Art and Culture for Everyone.

The Arts Council’s role as a development body, at arms-length from government, was considered, and the review identified that this “DCMS has a positive and collaborative relationship with the Arts Council, and it is right that the Arts Council should retain the independence of its decision making at arms length from government.”

We were recognised for our progress in integrating museums and libraries into our funding programmes, and our commitment to improving diversity in the sector. Our staff, in particular our Relationship Managers, were acknowledged for being engaged, helpful and collaborative.

The review also identified areas of work where we could continue to improve. As a learning organisation we are committed to enhancing our performance, strengthening the way we support the sector and improving our stewardship of public funding. The review also identified the need for us to strike a balance between data gathering and evidence based work, and maintaining an environment which both supports and encourages creativity and innovation for our sector.

Many of the recommendations identified in the review are already being implemented. For example, developing the resilience of the sector through funding programmes such as Building Resilience and Museum Resilience funds, and our role in placing innovative partnerships and collaborations at the heart of programmes such as Creative People and Places, Bridge organisations and the Great Place Scheme.

We will continue to work hard to develop partnerships across the country including with local authorities, as we recognise the challenges our sector faces as a result of the decline in local authority funding to arts and culture. 

We are now in the process of developing an implementation plan for the recommendations in the Tailored Review, so that we ensure our work aligns with the needs of our sector and the public.

Read the review in full

Visit where you can read the Tailored Review in full, including annexes to the main report and the written ministerial statement.

>> Take a look

View the implementation plan

Here is an outline of the implementation plan we have drawn up with DCMS to deliver on the recommendations of the Tailored Review.

>> Take a look