ACE chief announces shake-up

<p>Arts Council England (ACE) is to make its schools-based arts and literature programme an independent organisation, while aiming to institute a new peer review system for ACE funded organisations.</p><p>In a wide-ranging speech to the Royal Society of Arts last night, ACE chief executive Alan Davey announced that the schools programme, Creative Partnerships, would become a new body called Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) in April next year. CCE will be based in Newcastle and receive more than &pound;75m from ACE between April 2009 - March 2011, the largest single grant in that two year period.</p><p>The new organisation will look to establish link-ups with other cultural bodies such as the BBC and Channel 4 to broaden its appeal. Davey said CCE emphasised ACE&rsquo;s emphasis on children: &ldquo;That our largest funded organisation is dedicated to working with children and young people and making sure that they can benefit from engagement with culture and creativity is a signal of our commitment in this area.&quot;</p><p>Davey said he believed the formation of CCE was part of ACE completely looking at how it funded arts bodies. He said: &quot;We need to unthink the way we think about our portfolio of regularly funded organisations. I want us to look at loosening the uniform three-year cycle, and examine instead a range of funding possibilities, with some bodies on longer term arrangements than now, and some on more flexible, shorter term arrangements.&quot;</p><p>A consultation to create a new system of peer reviews for ACE funded organisations was also announced. ACE came under heavy criticism for a lack of peer reviews when it announced its last funding cycle in January 2008. Davey said peer reviews would ensure that &quot;artistic judgement is at the heart of [ACE&rsquo;s] decision-making&quot;.</p>