The Consortium

The Consortium members:

  • Bromsgrove and Redditch Network (BARN)
  • Severn Arts, an independent arts charity
  • Redditch Borough Council (RBC)
  • Arts in Redditch (AIR), the local arts network
  • Forthright Arts (trading name of Jestaminute Community Theatre cic)

BARN, the local Council for Voluntary Service, is the lead applicant. BARN has for over 20 years worked with the VCS & local communities providing training, funding support and other guidance. They operate the local Volunteer Centre (one of only two accredited centres in the County), and run innovative projects such as volunteering to gain Skills for Work and Live.Grow.Succeed., a volunteering initiative led by young people. Where gaps exist in provision the charity fills these by developing projects that help volunteers and local communities make a difference. Reimagine Redditch complements their community action and development work, and the Volunteer Centre’s work to encourage greater community participation. Their network of local organisations will be instrumental in engaging the community. The charity is run by Gary Roskell who has a strong track record of managing multiple arts programmes from his previous role as Chief Executive of The Play House, a Birmingham-based educational arts charity, which he took up after a career in stage management.

Severn Arts is an independent arts charity company which aspires to work with international, national and local partners to grow and support an exciting high-quality cultural offer in music education, outdoor arts and in talent development, delivering an innovative, inclusive and diverse cultural offer across Worcestershire that focuses on widening access for all.  Established in June 2018 Severn Arts is the lead Organisation for Worcestershire’s Music Hub.  They also deliver an arts programme on behalf of Worcestershire County Council and run the Local Cultural Education Partnership. Severn Arts is a lead partner in The Arches – Worcester project – a £3m Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Cultural Development Fund awarded to Worcester City Council and is the delivery partner for the festivals strand of the project.   The Arts Development Contract and the Festivals Programme is led by Elaine Knight, who will represent Severn Arts on the Consortium and whose experience is detailed in the Finance section.

Development Services at Redditch Borough Council have 17 years’ experience of delivering cultural projects, engaging more than 30,000 residents in 2019. Highlights include the Royal Enfield Showcase; a visit by French celestial arts company Transe Express (4000 people); the 2012 Olympic Torch visit (28,000 people); and the 2005 AIR Festival (24,000 people). Originators of the Bromsgrove Arts & Cultural Consortium, they held the contract for its ACE-funded “Tell me what you want” project. RBC’s 2020-2024 plan commits to increasing “arts & cultural opportunities in our town & district centres, including creative digital activity”. A first step has been introducing an Arts Development Officer role to advance action research and the Consortium’s civic connections, as elsewhere in CPP. Development Services Manager Jonathan Cochrane and Arts Development Officers Huw Moseley and Stewart Sanderson bring a broad range of expertise to the Consortium, including serving on the boards of the UK-wide Voluntary Arts Network and Audiences Central; regional rep for Arts Development UK; and chair of Shindig in its development stage. Their awards include an ACE-funded Artist Training post at Worcester Arts Workshop, ACE funding to study with Philippe Gaulier, an Eric Gregory Award and two Creative Scotland-funded fellowships. International credits include British Council exchanges with Russia and the Maghreb – and Friesland via Scotland’s StAnza festival.

Arts In Redditch, a local charity and umbrella body for creative individuals and organisations in Redditch and the surrounding area, helps to promote the provision of – and participation in – creative activities of every type. AIR is a membership organisation, with over 70 individual and organisation members, reflecting the diversity of creative activity in the community. The charity is run by trustees Philip Roberts, Huw Moseley, Jackie Kirby and Alison Edwards, part of a steering group of 7 which runs the charity on a day to day basis. As well as promoting its own events, notably the twice-yearly Pop-Up Galleries in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, and an English Country Dance Club, AIR awards small grants to fund new arts initiatives and organisations, including grants from the Redditch School of Art Trust.

Forthright Arts is a social enterprise based in Redditch, established in 2011, undertaking work in 2 clear but often linked streams: participatory arts delivery and community theatre – they were England runner up in the 2020 Voluntary Arts EPIC awards. They also stage new writing dealing with hard hitting social themes such as domestic abuse, debt and mental health, typically funded by ACE. They have run oral history heritage projects with funding from HLF, using combined arts to interpret the findings. Extensive links within Redditch with communities and schools underpin a strong track record of intergenerational work. Jan Higgitt, one of the directors, has broad experience of board level work with a specific knowledge of Arts in Health. She is currently serving as Chair of the Consortium.