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  • Matrix Drum Lampshade [detail] by Crafts Council Maker Kate Hollowood Design. PHoto: Dave Perry Photography

Policy Brief May 2018

We focus on:

Cities of Making, the result of a two year partnership programme, assesses the role and current state of manufacturing in three European cities. The report includes a detailed study of manufacturing and making in London. It identifies three areas affecting the sector that warrant further investigation: governance and network models for supporting the sector; opportunities for harnessing resources and technology to develop more sustainable production; and spatial typologies for supporting modern urban manufacturing.

The RSA explores the role of design in unlocking the creative potential 21st century industry, aiming to stimulate a cross-sector dialogue about what a successful design-led future might look like.

The Crafts Council is to partner the University of Lancaster and the Heritage Crafts Association in a research proposal to explore how craft firms can thrive maintaining traditional practices whilst innovating through the acquisition of new skills, Back to the past AND the future? Survival and revival of craft in the modern world.

DCMS research interests

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has set out its forthcoming research interests to inform policy development. They include:

  • Further research into the drivers of cultural engagement and participation, in particular by age, socio-economic background, disability, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
  • Research into the impact of cultural investment in terms of:

-Cultural, economic and social impacts on communities through place making and clustering.

-Educational outcomes, career progression, and future skills gaps.

-Wellbeing and other individual impacts e.g. health, emotional development, inspiration, and self-confidence etc.

-Wider social impacts of cultural such as trust, community cohesion and criminal justice.

-Soft power/cultural diplomacy, international tourism and understanding opportunities for overseas marketing opportunities.

Young people

The Cultural Learning Alliance highlights how Arts GCSE entries have fallen by 28% since 2010; the number of hours arts subjects are taught in secondary schools has fallen 17% since 2010; and the number of arts teachers is down 16% since 2010. Evidence is drawn from the Department for Education and analysis by the Education Policy Institute. The Crafts Council’s evidence specifically on craft-related GSCEs, Studying Craft 16, shows that Design & Technology GCSE participation fell 41% between 2007/08 and 2014/15.

A New Direction’s Powerful Partnerships Resource Library are a collection of case studies, tools and research to help achieve powerful outcomes for young people through partnership working.

A briefing for the May meeting of the Council of The European Union's Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council highlights policies likely to be adopted on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.

Health and Wellbeing

A new briefing from the Cultural Learning Alliance on evidence about arts, health and wellbeing sets out why the arts make us happier and healthier and are key to supporting children’s good mental health.

The European Commission’s European Agenda for Culture restates existing policies and concepts to harness the power of culture for social cohesion and wellbeing and to support innovation, education, jobs and growth. 

Calls for evidence

The Crafts Council has responded to the following consultations and invitations for evidence:

  • Arts Council England’s Cultural Cities Enquiry which focuses on new funding streams for cultural organisations. We highlighted the Creative Industries Federation’s view, that “Philanthropic funding and private investment in the creative sector are not substitutes for state support – but work alongside it”. In our evidence we also drew attention to measures such as changes to planning regulations, the protection and encouragement of specialist uses of premises, and how changes to taxation could benefit craft funding.
  • DCMS civic society consultation in which we highlighted the contribution of craft to wellbeing, mental health, community and identity, drawing on our response to the Gulbenkian Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations.