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Culture Commons is developing a long term policy development, public affairs and advocacy support to the Centre for Cultural Value, funded by Research England and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Research England.

We are primarily focussed on the Centre's major study into the impact of Covid-19 on the UK's cultural sector, resulting in the 'Culture in Crisis' report, co-authored by Culture Commons Director, Trevor MacFarlane. We believe this is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind anywhere in the world.

Culture Commons are now co-developing a suite of targeted policy recommendations, providing rolling policy and political analysis, producing bespoke policy briefings for external stakeholders (including regular meetings with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Government Ministers), and organising high level roundtables (including an event in the House of Lords in May 2022).

In 2022, Culture Commons will be supporting the Centre to set strategic policy objectives for its wider programme.



Culture Commons is leading a national consortium and campaign for the Creative Workforce Pledge to support the creative and cultural life of areas represented by a Metro Mayor. We are partnered with Excluded UK and the Federation of Entertainment Unions, and supported by the Arts Council England.

So far, the campaign has seen saw over 12,000 people from across the UK using our unique digital campaign tool to ask their Metro Mayoral candidates to sign up to the Pledge.

Generating hundreds of thousands of impressions on social media, featuring on primetime media slots including BBC, Sky Arts, Sky News, and supported by a series of household names, the Creative Workforce Pledge campaign managed to get candidates from all major political parties signed up to 10 key principles.

Five elected Metro Mayors across England are officially signed up the Creative Workforce Pledge and we are now working with each of them to implement their Pledge commitments. They are: Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester), Steve Rotherham (Liverpool), Tracy Brabin (West Yorkshire), Nik Johnson (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough) and Dan Norris (West of England).

Culture Commons are re-mounting a mini-campaign for May elections in 2022, working with stakeholders in South Yorkshire to secure a Pledge from the future Metro Mayor of the region.

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Culture Commons are working with the University of Bristol and a large number of strategic partners on this UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) ‘Healthy Ageing Challenge’ programme to explore how and why we take part in arts and culture as we get older.

Working alongside disabled older adults and those that identify as socioeconomically and racially minoritised, the programme will ultimately co-design new arts and cultural experiences fit for the digital age. Through a series of inclusive innovation processes, the partners will encourage cross sectoral collaborations in designing new products, services and experiences, and support the creative and cultural sector to better understand the needs of diverse older adults.  

Culture Commons are working with the core research team to make emerging findings and evidence available to key policy makers and maximise impact to influence decision making around arts and culture programmes at the local and national levels.



'Pandemic & Beyond' is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) umbrella programme coordinated by the University of Exeter. The project brings together over 70 leading academic studies investigating the impact of Covid-19 across several policy areas and communicates them to policy makers.

Culture Commons is providing a wraparound service to support the core team through the project lifecycle, ensuring emerging findings are communicated to the right decision makers, in the right way, at the right time.

Culture Commons are also co-producing a series of high level webinars and engaging directly with senior officials in the Cabinet Office, No. 10, Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

We are also advising on the development of a virtual policy hub where researchers, user groups and policymakers can meet, find out about each of the studies, and work together to share expertise and resources for maximum policy impact.

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Culture Commons is supporting Stand and Be Counted Theatre Company (SBC) who work with refugees and asylum seekers through a programme of creative activities.

We audited SBC’s creative programme to identify where there was cross-over with ongoing policy development at the national level. We then devised and deployed a targeted campaign for the resumption of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, sending a series of Open Letters to the Chancellor, Home Secretary and Culture Secretary on behalf of SBC.

We identified strategic partners like the Theatre Companies of Sanctuary network and Refugee Action to draw up concrete policy recommendations for Government ahead of a 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review.

Culture Commons secured project partners front page news coverage in The Stage (the leading in-print and digital sector news outlet) and the i newspaper, helping to raise funds and keep their work with refugees and asylum seekers going.