Creating Clusters | Strategic Capacity Building: An Evaluation

Judy Thomas

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The Strategic Capacity Building Programme in Northumberland was a collaborative research programme between non-HEI partners, established to strengthen relationships between the wider cultural sector by improving communications and adapting their cultural offer to meet the specific needs of schools. Commissioned by Active Northumberland (Northumberland County Council) and funded by Culture Bridge North East, Judy Thomas led this project and evaluation, initiating a cluster approach through an investment of strategic, quality, cultural delivery.


An ambitious programme, within less than a year, it ultimately aimed to increase participation and engagement of children and young people in high quality cultural activities. The project brought together the Education and Cultural Services departments at Northumberland County Council and Woodhorn (Northumberland Museums & Archives) with funding support from Culture Bridge North East to support work targeted at school partnerships in three areas (North, West and South East) across the County.


The output resulting from the research: Creating Clusters Strategic Capacity Building: An Evaluation reports on the first year April 2014 – March 2015 drawing upon evidence gathered from participating teachers and Cultural Partners directly involved in the pilot. The learning was used to inform cultural partners and schools to help maximise resources and expertise, encouraging flexibility and responsive activity towards the changing political and funding environment.


Specifically the research was used by Culture Bridge North East to inform the Northumberland Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) and Active Northumberland’s Cultural Strategy 2016 – 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2015


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