Culture Forum North newsletter, Sept ’22.

A new vision for cultural and higher/further education partnership.

As an open network of partnerships between the cultural and higher/further education sectors across the North, Culture Forum North enables relationships to develop through a unique ‘third space’, where we meet equitably to share excellence, ambition and collaborative ideas – to aim high and transform society.

The pandemic presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to evaluate how the cultural and higher/further sectors work together – to create a New Vision for Partnership that responds to the shift in sector priorities and societal challenges

In response, we have been collaborating with sector bodies, institutions and individuals nationally over the past year to develop the vision and goals around the themes of knowledge creation, skills development and civic impact. 

The New Vision was informed by a two-stage research programme undertaken in partnership with Midlands Higher Educational and Cultural Forum and the South East Cultural Innovation Forum.

The turbulent events of 2020/21 make the conclusions of this research more relevant. 

Stage one: Through a literature review and interviews with cultural and HE/FE partnerships nation wide, we learned that the pandemic motivated and deepened partnerships, reinvigorating relationships rich in long-term strategic potential.

Read a bite-size summary here
Read the full report here


Stage two: A roundtable discussion chaired by Darren Henley. In summer 2021, leaders from sector bodies nationally explored how, through partnership, we can help to overcome the current and shared challenges facing the cultural, higher and further education sectors.  The outcome, alongside the research and a series of workshops with cultural and HE organisations, fuelled the creation of the New Vision for Cultural and Higher Education Partnership.

This work was funded by Arts Council England and the universities of Chester, Leeds, Liverpool John Moores and Newcastle.


Keep an eye on our website and forthcoming newsletters as we deliver our vision through a programme of workshops, discussions, and opportunities to make new connections, to share partnership excellence, and to develop new projects. 


Supporting the next generation of cultural practitioners

Culture Forum North’s new vision aims to support partnership programmes that help new graduates transition from study to the workplace. The creation of the vision saw us commission recent design graduate Holly Carter to create our interim and final brochures.

Holly told us more about this kick-start to her career when we interviewed her.


Call for case studies

If you have an example of working in partnership with an HEI or an arts and cultural organisation and would like to contribute a case study for our website, please email for more information.

Questions from CFN members

If you have a question or provocation you would like to pose to the membership, please get in touch via and we’ll feature this in the next newsletter and post it on the website.