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Arts Council England and the BBC launch The Space - a multi-platform content channel for the arts

  • Date: 14 November 2011
  • Area: London, Midlands, North, South East, South West

Arts Council England and the BBC will work in partnership to create The Space - an experimental digital arts media service and commissioning programme that could help to transform the way people connect with, and experience, arts and culture.

Launching in May and running until the end of October 2012, this pop up service - which will be available across PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV - will challenge artists and arts and cultural organisations to collaborate with each other and with partners to capture and create a wealth of cultural experiences, drawing on the richness of the summer of arts of the Olympic year.

The service will show a whole host of content including newly commissioned programmes and will also include celebrity curation and critique, live broadcasts and some of the best archive content from the Arts Council and BBC archives.

Watch the video:

Alan Davey, Alan Yentob and Peter Maniura introduce The Space.

£2.5 million fund

Arts Council England is investing £2.5 million in a commissioning pot for artists, arts and cultural organisations to create work to be shown in The Space. This is open for expressions of interest until 9 December, following which a number will be invited to complete a full application and will receive additional support from the project in developing their proposals. Final decisions will be announced in February 2012.

BBC technology and mentoring

The BBC will contribute a £2 million support package including providing the technology solution to make The Space available across four platforms: PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV. In addition they will be mentoring successful applicants - particularly smaller organisations - through the creative process with training and guidance where appropriate.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

 'What's really exciting about The Space is that it will provide a communal playground for arts and cultural organisations, for technological wizards, and for audiences - anyone who's open to new ways to connect with culture - to come in, to be creative, and to feed back about their experience.'

Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC said:

'Partnership lies at the heart of our vision for the BBC, and our partnership with Arts Council England is one that we value greatly.

'The enormous success of the BBC Academy/Arts Council Building Digital Capacity for the Arts programme has shown the appetite within the sector for a shared approach to skills development and technology innovation, and now we are able to take this much further.

'The launch of The Space demonstrates our shared commitment to bringing great art to all, building on the BBC's great history of technical innovation and the Arts Council’s ability to energise the arts world.'

Find out more about The Space commissioning fund.

Read the inspiration essays

'Make it new': imagine an online space for the arts by John Wyver

Making meaning out of memory: creative archive in The Space by Paul Gerhardt

Digital arts and the imagination by Rachel Coldicutt