Applications to this fund are now closed.

A new consortium of organisations led by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has been selected to deliver our £895,000 Cultural commissioning programme.

The consortium includes New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and Mission Models Money (MMM). As consultants and policy advisors to commissioning bodies, NCVO, NPC and NEF are uniquely placed to build on their extensive knowledge and networks to develop and deliver the programme, with specialist arts input from MMM.

The programme will also be supported by an advisory group with representatives from the public sector, grant funders, social impact arts organisations, National portfolio organisations, museums, libraries and academia.

Running from July 2013 to June 2016, the programme will offer a mix of activities to help commissioners in the public services and arts, museums and libraries sectors. Further details will be available in the coming months.

Cultural commissioning is one of our grant commissions in our strategic funding programme. It is being funded through both Grant in aid and Lottery budgets.

Visit our useful links and resources page to find out more about strategic commissioning in public services.

Aims and outcomes

Cultural commissioning will specifically support the arts and cultural sector to collaborate with public services and contribute to the health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes and priorities of local communities, councils and health authorities.

This is a response to a changing public service landscape in which local councils are reducing the services they deliver directly and commissioning them from external providers.

The NCVO will deliver a range of programmes to:

  • help arts organisations, museums and libraries develop skills and capacity to engage in cultural commissioning
  • enable commissioners to develop awareness and know-how of commissioning arts and cultural organisations to deliver public service outcomes
  • encourage relationships between cultural providers and commissioners
  • influence policy makers and raise the profile of this area of work

What's new

Cultural Commissioning Locality Projects

From April 2015 to March 2016, the NCVO are working with five Locality Projects, providing a programme of support to strengthen relationships between arts & cultural organisations and public service commissioners. These are:

  • York Cultural Commissioning Locality Project Partnership – led by York Museums Trust
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet and partners
  • Derby City Council and partners
  • Manchester Cultural Offer Programme - led by Manchester City Council’s Children & Families Directorate
  • Torbay Community Development Trust and partners
  • Library services are involved in several of the projects, as are inter-cultural arts. Commissioners include: public health, adult services, wellbeing services, children & families services, Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Foundation Trusts, cultural & visitor economy services.

    The NCVO will share the learning from these projects more widely. 

    Commissioning Learning Programme

    From July 2015 to spring 2016, the Learning Programme will be rolled out across England. If you are a middle or senior manager in an arts organisation, museum or library service, the first two phases of the programme are for you. It will help you use your creativity and innovative flair to:

    • engage in public service commissioning
    • win contracts
    • deliver great outcomes.

    Find out more about the programme, including when the events will be running in your area on the NCVO website.

    CCP Research Report

    The CCP research report which was publised on 6 June 2014 includes new data from a survey of 240 arts and cultural organisations and analysis of charitable arts and cultural organisations based on the data from NCVO's charity almanac.

    The report contains important messages for:

    • arts and cultural organisations – how to engage in commissioning, contribute to commissioner outcomes and diversify your income streams

    • public service commissioners and managers – how arts and cultural organisations can help tackle social problems and evidence of their impact on people and places

    • policy makers and influencers – strategic use of the arts and cultural sector to provide creative solutions to difficult problems, build independence and strengthen communities.

    Read the executive report or download the full report from NCVO website.