Strategic Partnerships

Two participants at a symposium

The Culture and Community Engagement Team participate in a range of strategic partnerships, in order to support the broader local and regional cultural, third sector, and higher education ecologies. This includes, but is not limited to, the below.

The Culture Hub is an emerging network of cultural venues and services in Central Bedfordshire who are committed to a collaborative approach to working together.

The network seeks possibilities to work strategically together in order to help make the most of the rich assets of Central Bedfordshire, to develop and work within our own quality principles and to develop engagement with our audiences and partners.

Membership is currently formed of representatives from the University of Bedfordshire, libraries, the music service, local theatres, and key cultural leaders from the charity and private cultural sectors. It is convened by Central Bedfordshire Council.

A current body of work that the Culture Hub are engaged with is the development of a Cultural Strategy for the borough.

Bedford Cultural Partnership is a consortium of Bedford-based cultural organisations, Bedford Borough Council, the University of Bedfordshire and Arts Council England. The BCP is currently engaged with the development of Bedford Borough's first Cultural Vision/Strategy.

Luton Heritage Strategy Group is formed of key heritage partners and stakeholders, including local organisations that are in regular receipt of National Lottery Fund grant income. This includes, but is not limited to: Historic England (arms length gov organisation), National Lottery Heritage Fund (arms length gov organisation), Luton Borough Council, the University of Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Archives, The Wildlife Trust, Mary Seacole Housing Association, the Culture Trust Luton, Luton's Heritage Forum, CYCD, LCAT, and Natural England.

The role of the group is to oversee and support the successful delivery of the Heritage Strategy [PDF], as well as the Heritage Implementation Plan.

Luton Cultural Strategy Group is formed of Luton Borough Council, University of Bedfordshire, Active Luton, and Luton-based Arts Council funded National Portfolio Organisations (Tangled Feet, Music 24, UK Centre for Carnival Arts, Culture Trust Luton) and Revoluton, who leads Luton's ACE funded Creative People and Places project.

The Group ensures the successful delivery and monitoring of Luton's Cultural Strategy as well as works together to leverage opportunities for the town, including strategic investment opportunities and funding call-outs. Read the Cultural Strategy for Luton

The University sits on Revoluton's Creative People and Places Consortium. More information about Revoluton and its CPP activity, plus the role of the Consortium, visit Revoluton Arts

The South East Cultural Innovation was established in 2018 and consists of ten partner Higher Education institutions whose work is coordinated by the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at the University of Kent.

The Forum exemplifies the contribution Higher Education makes to the development of the creative sector by:

  • Undertaking the deep thinking needed to inform policy through carefully structured research activity
  • Drawing on the diversity of its membership to address a greater breadth of issues than can be explored by a single institution
  • Undertaking practice-based, action research
  • Operating beyond institutional boundaries to connect Universities with each other, with practitioners, communities, policymakers and commercial players
  • Delivering a unified communications programme of events, publications and media to showcase the efficacy of partnership-based work

Via the Culture and Community Engagement Team, the University of Bedfordshire was one of the first universities to join the Cultural Innovation Forum and has sat on the steering panel for a number of years.

The Culture and Community Engagement team have worked collaboratively and strategically with Arts Council England since 2015. This includes via ACE's new Let's Create strategy, working in a place-based way to build capacity and opportunity into the local cultural sector. Recent collaborations include via the ACE funded Place Partnerships call out, as well as with Local Cultural Education Partnerships.

In September 2023, the team were delighted to host Arts Council England’s CEO, Darren Henley, at our Luton Campus.

The Culture and Community Engagement team with Darren Henley