(A report by Lydia Rusling, Assistant Director – Economic Growth)
The Assistant Director – Economic Growth presented the report confirming that it provided an overview of the National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding from Arts Council England (ACE) and the proposed recommendations for Boston Cabinet.
Arts Council England (ACE) had confirmed investment for the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) from the 2023-2026 Investment Programme for National Portfolio Organisation.
Funding per annum of £651,993 (total of £1,955,799) would commence from April 2023 to March 2026.
Arts Council England (ACE) had also confirmed investment for the South and East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) area from the 2023-2026 Investment Programme for National Portfolio Organisation. Funding per annum of £651,993 (total of £1,955,799) would commence from April 2023 and continue to March 2026.
The funding would be awarded to East Lindsey District Council as the accountable body for activity across the SELCP area. In 2021, East Lindsey District Council and Boston Borough Council received ACE funding to develop a Cultural Strategy. Both Councils had agreed a Cultural Framework with two place based action plans, along with a commitment to extending to reflect the new geography of the Partnership and incorporating South Holland District Council. The principles of the strategy – Cultural Framework for Renewal – were reflected in the application for NPO status. Following notification of NPO Investment in November, documents providing details of the activity plan and financial profile for the period April 2023 – March 2024 were submitted to Arts Council England (ACE) for approval prior to the funding award in April 2023.
Prior to moving into committee deliberation the Portfolio Holder pointed out that the designation to National Portfolio Holder status was a very important move for Boston. It enabled a step up for the area for culture and heritage and he tabled his congratulations to the Assistant Director – Economic Growth on achieving the status for the Borough. He noted his priority would be to ensure a smart management in place to get the best out of the £2mil allocated to Boston.
Significant committee deliberation followed which included:
On questioning the reasoning for ELDC being selected as the accountable body for funding, a member was advised that they had been selected as they already had systems in place with Magna Vitae.
Noting the Guildhall as being the nominated hub for Boston a member asked who would run it as Boston had previously turned down Magna Vitae as they solely concentrated on sport and mass cultural events and not on heritage assets. Reassurance was provided that there would be no change to the running of the Guildhall, the growth directorate would work collaboratively with the community’s director and any activity at the Guildhall would take into the consideration the outcomes of its recent review.
Referencing the proposal for independent representation onto the board a member asked who would make the decision on who that would be. In response, committee were advised that it was a requirement of funding to oversee the programme and ACE had proposed a one of their own members along with one from each Council area and that representation from external organisations would also be welcomed.
The majority of members voiced their support and enthusiasm at the future use of the Guildhall and at the success of the application.
In response to a number of questions from a non-committee members, the Assistant Director – Economic Growth advised that Magna Vitae had independently bid for funding in their own right as an NPO and that funding was to solely fund the SO festival in the summer on the coast. Initially the Councils had considered running the scheme in-house, but with ELDC’s relationship with Magna Vitae who had experience and expertise in the field it had been agreed that was the best route forward at the current time, but no final decision had been made as the final reporting would go through all three Cabinet/Executives simultaneously for final decision making.
That the Corporate and Community Committee: