Arts partner search by council

By a County Press reporter

Published on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 13:43


ARTS organisations have been invited to bid to become the Isle of Wight Council's arts commissioning partner.

The three-year deal would make £30,000 a year available to the successful bidder to develop arts on the Isle of Wight.

Organisations hoping to fulfil the role would have to meet a range of criteria, the council said in a statement today (Wednesday).

In a prospectus for bidders, the council said it was moving away from its traditional approach to arts funding.

"The council's Arts Development Unit has supported these themes through work with Island-based artists and organisations.

"Historically, this has been direct support through a grants programme plus specific funding for an arts centre.

"This prospectus reflects the council's shift toward commissioning out its arts development work.

"The in-house service will look after this commissioning and also oversee public art projects across the Island, which are linked to the planning process."

The council prospectus added: "We believe that involving civil sector groups and organisations, and small businesses, in planning and delivering local services and activities, promotes stronger and more active communities as well as value for money,

"While not always the cheapest option, funding public services in this way is shown to lead to distinctive and better services that reflect local community needs and strengths."

In its statement a council spokesman said the criteria for bidders included increasing the participation in arts and creative industries by families from all backgrounds and providing a series of arts-based events, attractions and opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

"They must also provide opportunities across all forms of creative media, and for Island artists to showcase their skills and creations as well as giving more chances to take part in arts-based schemes," said the spokesman.

The council said it would consider bids from single organisations or a consortium of groups.

Mark Howell, Isle of Wight Council head of commissioning said: "When evaluating the bids for the funding, the council's arts development service will place particular value on innovation and the potential for partnership and consortium working.

"A successful bid may include opportunities for arts organisations from different sectors to use their combined ideas and resources to meet the criteria.

"Bids that will attract funding and resources from a range of sources will be particularly welcomed, as will bids that increase opportunities for public engagement and the involvement of volunteers."

The deadline for bids is 3pm on Friday 25 May and organisations that wish to apply can read the commissioning prospectus available on the council’s website at

To request an application form or find out more, groups should contact Nina Cullinane, arts development officer to outline their ideas on 823813 or via


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