The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Local Government Partners Launch National Alliance for Cultural Services

A fresh approach is needed to sustain culture services in the future, a new partnership of organisations representing local government said last week, as they launched a new National Alliance for Cultural Services.

Councils are the biggest public funder of culture in England, but rising demand in adult and children’s social care, and homelessness services, alongside a 24 per cent real terms reduction in core spending power from 2010/11 to 2024/25 is squeezing all other budgets.  

A new National Alliance for Cultural Services brings together the principal representative organisations for local government to:

  • provide a collective voice for local government cultural services which are essential to thriving, vibrant local places, contributing to economic growth, the health and wellbeing of communities and educational outcomes
  • offer a clear point of contact for consultation on these services with the experts who run them 
  • inform debate on their funding and governance; and
  • support councils to deliver and shape cultural services that meet the needs of their communities.

The Alliance is seeking to inform and influence the development of national policy for publicly funded culture. It is urging the Government to provide a long-term, sustainable, and multi-year funding settlement to local authorities ahead of the Budget, to protect continued investment in cultural provision.  

Chair of the Alliance, representing the Chief Culture and Leisure Officers Association (CLOA) Val Birchall said:

“We believe in the value of culture in ensuring thriving places and communities and are concerned that action is taken now to secure a sustainable future for these services.  The new Alliance offers expert knowledge and expertise across the local government cultural sector.  Through the Alliance we are signalling our desire to work collaboratively with policy makers at a national level and offer our support to develop approaches that respond to local need and are workable on the ground.” 

Cllr Liz Green, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:

“Everybody has a right to access culture within their community, and while these services are under huge pressure, the benefits of them far outweigh the cost. Cultural services help to boost local economies by driving high street footfall, support creative industries and the visitor economy. They also promote better wellbeing and support educational outcomes while bringing joy and hope to people across society. Cultural services help to make communities the sort of places that everyone wants to live and work in, however once a venue is gone, it is gone forever. Councils need a sustainable and fair funding settlement to allow them to invest in these essential community services.”

Members of the Alliance are: 

The National Alliance has published a Statement of Common Purpose which sets out the group’s aims and objectives


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