Public Lecture: 11th November 2015

Northern Powerhouse and Cultural Policy

Dr Ben Walmsley (School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds)

This talk will present and critique the Northern Powerhouse concept from the perspective of the arts. It will explore how cultural policy and arts funding decisions are made, both in theory and in practice, and discuss tensions between funding priorities: should we be funding buildings, or audiences and art? By reviewing Arts Council England’s approach to funding in the English regions, the talk will also investigate the benefits of alternative business models in the performing arts, not least the relatively new national theatre companies in Scotland and Wales.

Download the full powerpoint presentation
Watch the lecture here: YouTube

Venue:  The Creative Edge (building 26) at Edge Hill University (Directions)


Dr Walmsley is a Lecturer in Audience Engagement in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. His professional background is in theatre management and producing. In 1997, he directed and produced Ionesco’s La Cantatrice Chauve as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before moving to Paris, where he managed One World Actors Productions for two years, before moving back to the UK to manage the leading Scottish touring theatre company Benchtours.

He took up a post at the new National Theatre of Scotland in 2006 and was with the company for the first two-and-a-half years of its existence. In 2008, he left Glasgow to take up the post of Senior Lecturer in Arts & Entertainment Management at Leeds Metropolitan University.
His current research interests are related to the qualitative value and impact of theatre from the audience perspective and to issues of strategic arts management and organisational change. He has also published on arts marketing, rural touring, arts & entertainment management and cultural policy.

Ben has been a vigorous blogger on what the emergence of the Northern Powerhouse means for cultural policies in the north of the country.

Related Events:

Northern Powerhouse and Film Policy
Roundtable: 30th September 2015
Key film industry figures from across the UK met at Edge Hill University to discuss the significant contribution the film industry in the North can make to the overall economy.  The roundtable discussion was the latest in a series of similar events initiated by Professor Roger Shannon, Director of the University’s Institute for Creative Enterprise, bringing together experts to examine key issues in film policy.
More information on Roundtable

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