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Public value programme

  • Date: 2 February 2009
  • Artform: None
  • Area: National

The public value programme is a three-year programme of research and development to put public value at the heart of everything the Arts Council does. The programme is led by the research team within the department of Arts Strategy. It responds to and builds on the findings of the arts debate, the Arts Council’s first public value inquiry.

Public value: the story so far

In 2006 the Arts Council launched the arts debate, a major inquiry into how people value the arts, their priorities for public funding and their expectations of the Arts Council. The findings of the arts debate led the Arts Council to develop a new mission statement of ‘great art for everyone’ and to identify five key outcomes of excellence, innovation, reach, engagement and diversity, which underpin our plan for 2008-11.

To continue the journey and build on the momentum of the arts debate we have now established a long-term public value programme.

Aim of the public value programme

The aim of the public value programme is to enable the Arts Council to put public value at the heart of everything we do by

  • embedding the findings of the arts debate across the organisation so that our mission and outcomes drive what we do and how we do it
  • building knowledge and evidence of the public value we create through a strengthened approach to evaluation
  • improving the quality of the dialogue between the Arts Council and its stakeholders, including the public, and supporting artists and arts organisations to do the same

Public value projects 2008-11

The public value programme comprises seven key projects across 2008-11:

  • Outcomes: translating what we mean by our five outcomes - excellence, reach, innovation, diversity and engagement, into practical tools to help decision making and evaluation
  • Customer Focus: introducing processes to track how our stakeholders and the wider public perceive our value and their experience of working with us
  • Wider Range of Voices: exploring how we can engage a wider range of voices in our decision making and developing an Arts Council involvement strategy
  • Values: refreshing our organisational values as the organisation review takes shape
  • Enriching lives: researching to continually explore and evidence how peoples lives are enriched through their experience of the arts
  • Involving audiences: supporting artists and arts organisations to develop ways of engaging their audiences in dialogue and debate
  • Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme: working collaboratively with our cultural partners to assess the impact of culture and sport across England

Find out more For more information about the public value programme contact the Research team .

For all the background to and findings from the arts debate see