New Arts Council England project launched with BBC
Arts Council England and the BBC today announced the 53 successful applicants that will be creating hundreds of hours of original commissions for The Space.
A new experimental digital service, managed by the Arts Council and developed in partnership with the BBC, will launch in May and run until October this year at www.thespace.org. It will give arts and culture organisations the opportunity to experiment and engage with new and existing audiences in a completely new and innovative digital environment. The project is designed to build the digital skills and capability of the arts and cultural sector – currently only about four per cent of the hundreds of organisations funded by the Arts Council are creating and producing high quality digital content for a variety of platforms.
The Space will be available across all four key digital media platforms; PCs, smartphones, tablets and internet connected TVs. The service will also be available as a red button, video on demand service via Freeview HD.The Arts Council is committing up to £3.5m to The Space from its recently created £20 million Digital innovation fund, with ‘in principle’ grants ranging from £15,000 to £185,000.
The BBC is contributing to the partnership by developing the technological solutions and providing ongoing support through mentoring, production, training and skills development, helping the UK’s arts and cultural sector to make the most of the new and emerging digital opportunities.The launch of The Space has been timed to coincide with and complement the extraordinary arts activity in 2012: the London 2012 Festival, the wider Cultural Olympiad, plus many important celebrations such as the Diamond Jubilee. It is also the year of digital switchover. Almost 750 organisations applied with ‘Expressions of interest’ to be part of The Space, these were shortlisted to 111 including Arts Council funded organisations, national museums and other cultural organisations, large and small.
Successful applicants include: