Thursday, 31 March 2011

Arts Council NPO funding in Leicestershire

Yesterday the Arts Council announced the organisations who have received 3 year funding as part of their National Portfolio from April 2012. There are 9 receiving funding in Leicestershire: Charnwood Arts, Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust, Leicester Print Workshop, Leicester Theatre Trust (Curve), Mantle Arts, Phoenix Arts (Phoenix Square), Richard Attenborough Centre (Embrace Arts), Soft Touch Arts and The Spark Childrens Arts Festival. Leicestershire & Rutland will also benefit from successful regional bids by Nottinghamshire County Council for rural touring (for the Centre Stage programme in Leics/Rutland) and by Dance 4 for dance development work. The Mighty Creatives who are based in Leicester will be a 'Bridge Delivery Organisation' to deliver work with children and young people (rather than civil engineering work presumbly) in the East Mids. And finally the Foundation for Community Dance, also based in Leicester, received funding to work nationally.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Budget implications for self-employed creatives

Fred has done a summary of implications for self-employed creatives of the recent budget: Creative industries: As part of the Budget, chancellor George Osborne listed the creative and digital industry as one of those, along with life sciences, that it planned to protect in order to encourage growth. Intellectual property: The Chancellor said "In digital and creative industries we will improve the intellectual property regime," which looks like a clear indication that more is going to done to protect IP. Tax: The basic personal allowance will rise to £8,105 from April 2012. VAT: The threshold for compulsory registration for VAT was raised from £70,000 to £73,000 annual turnover. Travel: Fuel duty cut by 1p a litre from 23rd March, good news for anyone who uses their car on business. The mileage rate approved by HM Revenue, which applies to sole traders and partnerships using the mileage method, will be increased from 6th April 2011. The rate for the first 10,000 miles will go up from 40p a mile to 45p a mile. Above 10,000 miles it remains at 25p. Business rates: Business rate relief holiday for small firms extended for another year from 1 October 2011. Apprenticeships and work placements: £180 million package for 50,000 additional apprenticeships, and an additional 80,000 work placements for young people. Tax rules: A large package of tax rues will be radically simplified or abolished. IR35 rules (the Revenue’s directive on what constitutes a ‘genuine’ freelance) will not be abolished, but HMRC plans to try to simplify by improving administration. Tax simplification: There will be consultation on combining income tax and National Insurance. That would reduce administration for small businesses, but don’t hold your breath, there is no timescale set for when this might happen, and it will be technically difficult to achieve. Regulations: A moratorium exempting micro-businesses and start-ups with fewer than 10 staff from new domestic regulations for three years from 1 April 2011. New EU regulations will still apply. Health and Safety regulation to be reviewed and simplified. Startups: A new initiative for “Start-up Britain” to help people starting a business will be launched shortly. Film tax: Film tax relief (100% for small budget, 80% for large budget productions) will be re-notified to the EU, to extend approval beyond 2012.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Free Open University CPD Courses

Creative Choices have available online 100 free short online courses, covering a huge range of development needs across leadership, management and personal development.

Created by the Centre for Professional Learning and Development at The Open University, these bite-sized modules are designed to perfectly fit with busy lifestyles, providing you with carefully targeted learning to help you develop new skills and unlock your potential.

These courses have been available over the past year and will end on 31 March, so this is your last chance to have access to these free courses.

Check out their free career courses page for full details on the range available

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Creative England Consultation

Consultation is now open on Creative England's proposed strategic priorities for film for the first year of operation.

About Creative England
The network of regional screen agencies was established by the UK Film Council in 2002 to deliver film culture and nurture talent across the country. Since then, the independent screen agencies have grown and diversified to work across the full range of creative media industries, in many cases attracting significant funding from other sources for a range of projects. Their activity has supported both the ‘screen-related’ sector of film and television, as well as the wider creative industries such as games, digital, new media, design and fashion.

Following the announcement of the abolition of the UK Film Council in July 2010, the Government confirmed continued support for the film and media industry outside of London. The agencies have since been working with DCMS to decide on the best structure of this support, in order to secure a strong future for the UK’s creative industries.

With public expenditure severely constrained, it was recognised that the existing network of screen agencies should be re-configured to provide a new national delivery arm to build creative companies and talent.

On 29 November 2010, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey announced the proposal for Creative England, “a simpler, more efficient structure with an expanded remit to support the creative industries across England.”

Creative England will ensure an England-wide delivery network for film, whilst laying the foundations for a longer-term solution, connecting creative and digital SME’s with national and international markets, public and private funding.

To view the consulation and to respond go to

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Creative Bursary Award Celebration

Some pictures from our Bursary Celebration on 8 March which celebrated all the 125 companies who have been funded through the CL bursary scheme since 2005. Rhys Davies of Hive Films won a final Bursary Celebration Award of £1500 which he's going to spend on new lenses. Nick Dunn of Horus Music also got a highly commended as did instrumental teacher Alice Little. Well done to all. We had such a good time we thought we should arrange another celebration next year....

Vote for Duck in a Bucket Designs

Local glass artist Ema Kelly of Duck in a Bucket Designs and former Creative Leicestershire Bursary Winner, has been nominated for a national Craft & Design ‘Selected’ Award, for the second year running.

After winning Silver in the glass category in 2010, Ema has been put up for the public vote again. With categories ranging from glass to furniture, paper to metal, the scope of designer makers is vast. The quality of design and technical skill is particularly high in these awards due to the strict application process.

A new twist has been introduced to the awards this year. To spice things up, the artists with the most public votes will be sent to a specialist judge for each category. Judging the glass will be Peter Layton, an extremely well know and well established maker who has been glass blowing since the 1970’s.

Ema states “It would be an honour if I could get to the stage where Peter Layton would even consider my work for an award.”

Craft & Design, a vibrant bi-monthly magazine all about British Craft, offers winners free promotion in their publication and online plus the opportunity to take part in exhibiting events nationwide.

“I hope that the awards will help make the general public more aware of the sort of talented makers that are out there in the UK.” says Ema. “Winning the Silver Award last year has been an invaluable marketing tool for me, and I’m really looking forward to the exhibition at the Ferrers Gallery in April.”

You can place your vote for Ema and view her new profile page online at Voting closes on the 31st March 2011. Every vote makes a difference!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Employment in the arts fair - 18 March

We are working with Leicester College/Critical Mass to present a day of guest speakers next week, giving talks and one-to-one advice on how to get ahead in the arts industries. It will be on Friday 18 March at Upper Brown Street (formerly Phoenix Arts) Off Newarke St, Leicester LE1 5TE.

Guest lectures are:
10.00am Where and How to look for Arts jobs (Clare Hudson, Creative Leicestershire)
11.00am Developing a Festival (Geoff Rowe, Leicester Comedy Festival)
12.00pm The Freelance Dance Artist (Liz Clarke)
13.00pm Developing a Performance Company (Esther Simpson, Metro-Boulot-Dodo)
14.00pm Sustaining a Participatory Arts Company (Andy Reeves, Speakeasy Theatre Company)

The event is free - no need to book.
If you'd like to bring a group, please call 0116 224 4081 or email with any enquiries.

New online tools for business

Business Link and HMRC have just released some online guides for SME's to help keep their business records on track. They have been produced in advance of the launch of HMRC’s new Business Record Checks programme later this year, which will impose penalties for significant record-keeping failures.

  • Keeping records for business - what you need to know: a basic guide with a helpful list of where to get more information.
  • A general guide to keeping records for your tax return: detailed guidance on record-keeping covering what type of records you may have to keep, common problems and examples for different types of business.
  • Set up a basic record-keeping system: with examples of spreadsheets and information about setting up a record-keeping system.
  • Find out what records you should be keeping: looks at the records you need to keep and assesses how well you are keeping them. If you are thinking of starting business the tool provides you with a checklist. If you are established it will give feedback and advice on improvements you may need to make.