Culture UK: inspiring audiences

Culture UK, a new partnership between the BBC, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland will launch this year, seeing major cultural organisations from across the UK come together to inspire new audiences and enhance the UK’s position as a global creative force.

The aim of the scheme is to excite the nation about the arts, develop UK-wide cultural festivals that can reach new audiences, create opportunities to showcase emerging and diverse talent, and make the most of technology to see new arts experiences. Projects will include work featuring Danny Boyle directing hip hop dance company Boy Blue Entertainment, National Theatre Artistic Director Rufus Norris, Crystal Pite, Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter, together with creative organisations such as the Young Vic, Scottish Ballet, Birmingham Rep, Bristol Old Vic and balletLORENT.

With the aim for the UK to be the most culturally engaged and creative country in the world, much work is to be done in bringing the creative forces together. Inspired by the Cultural Olympiad, Shakespeare Lives (supported by the British Council) and the continuing work of 14-18-NOW, Culture UK will form a planning and development group, with representation across the country, to enable three major broadcast and live event festivals each year.

The ambition is for projects to attract new audiences to the arts, as well as appealing to existing enthusiasts. The BBC will therefore create a new Artists First BBC commissioning fund that will prioritise artists and arts organisations who want to create new works for broadcast and online. A number of commissions have already been announced, including projects from Battersea Arts Centre’s Performance Live strand and from The Space. Scottish Ballet is also collaborating with the BBC as they pioneer a new way to experience dance, using 360 degree technology.