Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Political context

Questions you might ask yourself

  • Do we fully understand the priorities of our funders?

  • What policy changes have been or are being discussed that could impact on us?

  • How well do we understand the priorities and requirements of the local authorities within which we work?

  • How well do we understand what is happening across government departments?

What success looks like

  • We know what our funders expect of us and what their priorities are.

  • We are aware of relevant national and local government policies and know how they are and will have an impact on us.

  • We are able to express our work and achievements in a way that relates to the priorities of our funders.


Arts & Business

Arts & Business is a UK-wide agency working to develop partnerships between the arts and business worlds. It carries out research and training in a number of areas and produces annual figures on private funding for the arts and heritage.


Demos is a London-based think tank which focuses on politics and policy, and aims to give people power over their lives. Its vision is of "a society of free and powerful citizens".

  • This explores a huge range of public policy and social issues. It includes regular blogs by its associates, and a list of over 300 downloadable publications, including many on culture and creativity, such as Jen Lexmond and Shelagh Wright's 'Making of Me' and Samuel Jones's 'Expressive Lives'.


IPPR is an independent think tank based in the political centre ground. It characterises itself as radical and progressive and is concerned with combating inequality, empowering citizens,promoting social responsibility, creating a sustainable economy and revitalising democracy.

  • The Institute for Public Policy Research's publication list is updated frequently and embraces subjects such as world conflict, public sector reform, accountability and environmental change. It is possible to search its publications and articles by themes such as 'Democracy, Power and Citizenship', 'Media, Culture and Sport', and 'Political Ideas'. Publications are for sale, and are not available for free download.

NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)

NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is a Non-Departmental Public Body, accountable to Parliament and funded by means of a 300m endowment to foster innovation in tackling the country's social and economic challenges. It works in partnership with private and third sector organisations.

  • This succinct policy briefing explores the position of the creative industries in the UK economy and argues that productivity growth, though innovative, must be higher and that the benefits they offer must spread out to the whole of society. It discusses the arts' links with other business sectors and looks at the role they can play in regional development.

Policy Studies Institute (PSI)

Policy Studies Institute (PSI) is one of Britain's leading research institutes, conducting research to promote economic well-being and improve quality of life. PSI enjoys a reputation for the rigorous and impartial evaluation of policy in the UK and Europe, and the publication and dissemination of research findings is central to its ethos.

  • The cultural studies publications list of the Policy Studies Institute, which is based at the University of Westminster and carries out sponsored research into employment, environment and social policy, with the aims of promoting economic well-being and improving the quality of life.

Third Sector Foresight

Third Sector Foresight is a National Council for Voluntary Organisations website, offering strategic insight and planning tools for the UK voluntary and community sector, including key drivers influencing the sector.