Cultural Development Fund

Cultural Development Fund

As delivery partners of the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Peer Learning Network, Five10Twelve supports the successful 2019-2022 CDF projects (WorcesterWakefield, Plymouth, Grimsby and Creative Estuary), in delivery of the aims and objectives of the £20m DCMS fund, specifically the development of transformative economic growth and productivity strategies.

The Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Peer Learning Network is the national collective that shares best practice and generates knowledge to capture and celebrate the success of the DCMS CDF investment.  By creating the space to nourish, innovate and re-energise for all of the trailblazing CDF projects, we will influence, communicate, learn, celebrate, drive further investment and secure the legacy of the Cultural Development Fund.

Announced by DCMS as part of the Creative Industries Sector Deal to help the country’s world-leading cultural and creative industries thrive, the five CDF locations across England each receive a share of £20m to invest in local culture, heritage and creative industries and help drive economic growth.

The CDF Peer Learning Network acts as a forum to support the evaluation of the CDF and the link between cultural investment and local growth. The CDF is a prime opportunity to build the evidence base around culture’s economic impact. Helping to build the evidence base at a national and local level is an important component of this. 

Key Facts

  • The five pilot CDF project locations are the Grimsby, Plymouth, Wakefield, Worcester and the Thames Estuary, with the overarching project running until March 2023.
  • It is expected that the funding will create over 1,300 new jobs, benefit 2,000 people through skills training and leadership development, support more than 700 businesses and invest in new cultural infrastructure and production spaces across the CDF locations.
  • Through match-funding, an additional £17.5m will be invested across the five locations. 


The CDF Peer Learning Network is aimed at connecting practitioners, project managers, directors, researchers, stakeholders and policymakers to develop their knowledge and share the learning from the CDF projects, enabling those within wider networks to benefit from this collaborative approach. 

The CDF Peer Learning Network will: 

  • Influence by developing a network of professionals sharing knowledge and experience to understand best practice in CDF evaluation
  • Communicate a shared understanding of the CDF and how evaluations can be used to effectively demonstrate the economic impacts of the fund
  • Learn by engaging with each other in ongoing reflection on evaluation skills and areas for development, including training, guidance and advice
  • Celebrate by developing collaborative activities to promote and implement good practice in evaluation
  • Drive further investment by improving understanding of the link between cultural investment and economic growth
  • Secure the legacy of the CDF by considering how the learning from CDF evaluation can be shared to improve the use of evaluation within the wider sector.