DCMS review of the Arts Council published 7/5/2017

DCMS has published its tailored review of the work of Arts Council England. The report is largely positive and affirms that ACE’s work is needed, financially efficient and widely regarded as resulting in good art by respondents from across the sector. 82% of respondents thought the Arts Council provides good value for money, and 89% thought it added some or considerable value to the sectors it supports. 69% thought it supported its goal of ‘excellence’ well or very well. However, less than half of those who responded from the museum sector thought museums were well understood or ingrained in ACE’s culture. It is hoped that the appointment of Sir Nicholas Serota as new Chair will help the further integration of museum culture into ACE.

The report identified four areas for strengthening effectiveness:

  • ACE should work with DCMS to better define its role as a development agency and feed priorities into its ten-year plan. Issues include enhancing the financial stability of cultural organisations and making museums and libraries more integrated in its work.
  • ACE should clarify how it makes its grant making decisions, and shift its evaluation from outputs to outcomes.
  • It should create a more strategic and challenging framework to assess its own performance.
  • ACE’s governance is strong, but the report seeks more clarity around its appetite for risk, and it should take steps towards transparency.

ACE will respond to the review and publish a plan for implementing its recommendations by June. Gov.uk, M+H, ACE blog, Museums Journal