Levelling Up Fund x Arts Council Data Drop

Person holding Pioneering Places report, Levelling Up Communities through cultural and heritage led placemaking

To coincide with our most recent collaboration with Arts Professional, Five10Twelve is making available data mapped from DLUHC and Arts Council England to highlight priority areas for cultural investment, with particular emphasis on Levelling Up.

While Five10Twelve continues to work with this data and map against other datasets, (e.g. mapping against nationwide NPOs, Cultural Development Fund investments (rounds one and two) and Arts Council’s recent Meta Evaluation of Place-Based Programmes), this core mapped data is being made available to help inform creative and cultural organisations, local authorities, researchers and other interested parties in developing local and regional culture-led regeneration policies and/or bids. Data is available in Excel and Google Docs formats using the links below:

DLUHC/ACE Priority Place Data – Google Sheets Format

Notes and inclusions

Data mapped in this spreadsheet includes:

For the first time, the breakdown of round 1 LUF investments includes additional data obtained from DLUHC by Five10Twelve through FOI showing a breakdown of percentage split of each successful bid across the three priority categories, (Regeneration, Culture and Transport). This data was used to inform our earlier analysis for Arts Professional showing a total of £429m allocated to culture during the first round of LUF.

Cultural, creative and heritage

It should be noted that cultural spend allocated through these successful first round bids is as defined by the bidding local authority, which may lead to some disparity with definitions of culture more familiar with those working in the cultural sector, or indeed to DCMS. For example, Southend-on-Sea has defined 100% of its £19.9m spend as cultural, although the project focuses on “building back better key areas included Marine Parade, port needs urgent renovation to maintain fishing operations”. This suggests little scrutiny of how strongly the round 1 bids addressed the three priority pillars of the LUF and perhaps little or no oversight from DCMS or strategic cooperation with DLUHC.

Similarly, bids prioritising the creative industries or heritage-led regeneration projects – both of which would ordinarily fall under the remit of DCMS – are often defined by the bidding local authorities under the more general ‘Regeneration’ heading, e.g. Ashford’s £14.8m LUF project focused on “Redevelopment of historic railway buildings in Ashford into residential and commercial spaces which will include purpose built film studios, production offices, and a skills and education centre for the creative and digital industries.”

We have therefore also included in this release short summary descriptions of the successful LUF round 1 bids, which were also included in the DLUHC FOI release, to facilitate further text-based analysis of the actual creative, cultural and heritage spend, for example.