Local Cultural Education Partnerships

Local Cultural Education Partnership?

Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEP) were launched by Arts Council England in October 2015 to help meet the Cultural Education Challenge.

LCEPs are innovative partnerships between cultural providers, educational institutions and local authorities that aim to join-up and improve cultural education provision for children and young people in their town, city, county or region.

Cultural Education Partnerships are flexible and are able respond to local needs and circumstances. To be effective, they should comprise as wide a range as possible of arts, cultural and heritage providers, music education hubs, schools, and higher education institutions, local authorities – and employers. They take the long view, planning for the future and seeking to make sustainable change in their communities.

What is Royal Opera House Bridge’s role?

Royal Opera House Bridge will broker and convene each LCEP in the first phases, supporting the partnership to determine need, set goals and aims and establish a governance structure. We have a limited amount of funding available to support LCEPs in the development of their structures.

Whilst we will hope to retain a strategic overview of partnerships in our role as Bridge, ultimately we will step back from delivery, allowing LCEPs to grow, develop and thrive as cultural leaders in their areas.  

There are currently nine LCEPs working or in development in the ROH Bridge region: Bedford, Braintree, Colchester, Hertfordshire, Isle of Sheppey, Luton, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.


What do LCEPs do?

The focus and the activities of an LCEP are for partners to collectively determine.

Local Cultural Education Partnerships are just that – local – and will respond to needs and challenges of their community. Every partnership is difference.

There are a range of key functions that an LCEP might perform to strengthen cultural education in their community:

  • Strategic Development - LCEPs can undertake needs analysis to determine problematic areas of provision and set out a vision and strategic direction. They lend credibility and visibility to local cultural education and can be an effective group to coordinate advocacy.
  • Delivery - LCEPs can facilitate the better alignment of resources, and, through coordination, enhance the quantity, quality and coherence of cultural offer.
  • Cross Sector Collaboration - LCEPs provide an ideal opportunity to network with partners from different sectors in order to become aware of a wider range of activities in a location, and to identify possible areas of collaborative working. 

How do I / my organization become involved in my local LCEP?

If you are a culture or education professional who would like to know more about your LCEP or would like to get involved, please contact the relevant programme manager:

Who funds them?

LCEPs will not automatically receive funding although Royal Opera House Bridge has allocated a limited amount of funding to support the development of LCEPs. 

However, we anticipate that LCEPs will become a conduit for funding in the long-term. For example, in 2018 the Youth Performance Partnerships Fund, offered by Arts Council England, was available only to LCEPs. In the 2018-22 Arts Council England funding round all Bridge organizations will invest their Partnership Investment funding through LCEPs.

In the 2018-22 funding round for National Portfolio Organizations (NPOs) notes that NPOs delivering against Goal 5 need to take a central role and either lead or support cultural education partnerships.

Where can I find more information about LCEPs?

There is more information about LCEPs on Arts Council England’s website here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/children-and-young-people/working-partnership

Each of the ten national Bridge organizations can give you information about LCEPs in the areas they cover. You can find a list of Bridges and their contact details here.

You can read the evaluation report of the Cultural Education Partnership pilot areas from 2012: Barking & Dagenham, Bristol and Great Yarmouth here. This contains case study information and key findings from some of the earlier LCEPs.

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