University of Cumbria
The University of Cumbria has partnered with the Brathay Trust for 9 years delivering the Aspiring Leaders Programme, the framework on which the Changing Culture Programme is based. In keeping with the aims of the Arts Council England Transforming Leadership scheme, the University of Cumbria also aims to enable more students to stay to work where they studied, increasing the skills and prosperity in the region. The University works as an engine of economic well-being, a centre for distinct and original curricula and as a gateway to the region. It understands the importance of personal development alongside academic learning. It was ranked 1st in the UK and top 10 worldwide for the quality of education according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020. The Changing Culture Programme offers a two year study programme of 11 academic modules, culminating in a Diploma in Higher Education in Social Enterprise Leadership. The University is also now working to provide a top up option for those participants who wish to complete the full degree.
Theatre by the Lake
Arts sector engagement for the Changing Culture Programme has been led by Theatre by the Lake who identified, briefed and co-ordinated a consortium of cultural organisations who supported the programme as hosts and mentors. The consortium included key Arts Council NPOs and other organisations with the capacity to support the initiative and will cover the full range of the arts, culture and heritage sector, including libraries and museums, wider arts and cultural networks and groups of individual artists. It was particularly important to involve a wide geographical as well as skill range, to match the participant need. Theatre by the Lake is a busy and vibrant building, housing two stages, a 400 seat Main House and a 100 seat studio in which they present a variety of home produced and touring work. The Changing Culture Programme is part of Theatre by the Lake’s commitment to the community of Cumbria and North Lancashire, and sits along its other community work including storytelling sessions for under 5s, a weekly Young Company, and over 55s company and workshops for people with dementia and their carers’.
As a multi-faceted social enterprise the Brathay Trust were drawn to apply to the Arts Council Transforming Leadership fund to build on our experience of delivering the Aspiring Leaders Programme in partnership with the University of Cumbria. This combines a qualification in Social Enterprise Leadership with personal development and leadership skills. Few leadership training opportunities are available to the creative sector in Cumbria and North Lancashire. A key part of the Trust’s mission is to support and train leaders to enable them to stay local and contribute to the cultural, social and economic landscape. It has been exciting to also partner with Theatre by the Lake on this project to deliver real sector expertise, enriching the learning experience of participants. As the programme comes to a close the Trust looks forward to continuing this conversation by building stronger relationships with the art, culture and heritage sector in Cumbria and North Lancashire.