19 January 2011

Around £90,000 is set to be on offer for organisations to bid for to provide arts and cultural activities in the county.

Northamptonshire County Council has reviewed the way it funds local arts and culture provision and has shown that the most effective and value for money approach is to commission services instead of offering grant aid.

As a result, the council is now looking to commission third sector groups to provide a good range of arts and cultural activities for county residents to participate in.

A commissioning strategy has been developed which sets out the intentions for distributing arts and culture funding from 2011/12 onwards based around two overall outcomes:

  • To build communities through arts and culture
  • To contribute to the economic health of the county through supporting the arts and cultural infrastructure.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “We know the important role that the arts and culture play in enhancing the lives of people in the county. However, like everyone else in the public sector we are facing unprecedented financial challenges and so it is more important than ever than we ensure we achieve the right outcomes as well as good value for money for county taxpayers.

“We have developed a commissioning strategy that will enable third sector organisations to bid for money to provide arts and cultural activities for people to enjoy. We believe that this new approach, rather than simply offering grant funding, is the best way to ensure that the money we do have available for these activities is used in the most effective way to benefit the most amount of people.”

The funding available for 2011/12 is £92,785 – this is still subject to the council’s budget consultation process and will not be confirmed until the budget is formally agreed by the council.

The tender process opened on Monday 17th January until Friday 4th February and bids will be accepted for £5,000 and over. Tender documents are available to download at https://ncc.bravosolution.co.uk and more information, including the commissioning strategy is available at our website.