North Kesteven District Council has a long-standing commitment to arts and culture and has operated exemplary creative and cultural services for over 25 years.

SLC were appointed to support North Kesteven District Council in 2015 to develop an Arts Strategy to provide a clear steer for future partners on what its priorities were. The Arts Strategy’s priorities are:

  • Develop audiences and residents’ participation by stimulating local appetite and demand for quality arts experiences
  • Broaden the arts offer to support social and economic development
  • Contribute to building and sustaining 100 flourishing communities by promoting health, social and wellbeing benefits.

SLC also supported the Council in editing a bid to Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation which was submitted on time, taking account of future transformation plans.

SLC were then tasked with undertaking a more detailed options appraisal, including a review of the arts organisations linked to an outsourced management contract, in preparation for the end of the current contract in April 2018. This identified a number of areas for improvement and efficiencies which could be built into the future management arrangements.



SLC was subsequently appointed to undertake the procurement for a new arts provider as a separate lot from the procurement of a leisure operating partner and operator of a country park. SLC supported the Council in all aspects of the tender process and partner selection. Crucially, this involved SLC and North Kesteven developing together the priority outcomes and performance indicators for NK Arts. SLC then developed the tender documents, managed the clarifications period and Market Interest Day, and supported the Council in the evaluation process.



This procurement also included a significant investment package linked to the development of the National Centre for Craft and Design to optimise its use as a multi-function arts venue whilst still maintaining its national status and Arts Council funding.

The procurement exercise, one of very few outsourced arts service procurements included a facility management and outreach service and successfully secured a contract between Lincolnshire based trust, Lincs Inspire, and the Council.

This contract also delivered significant savings and an agreed approach to ensure the service was sustainable linked to its third-party funding from ACE and the Council.



We want North Kesteven to be an area where residents both young and old enjoy arts activities and events. We also want to be a place where the arts, enterprise and opportunity thrives and a place where people want to live, work, play, study and do business.

Participating in enjoyable socially creative activities can improve a person’s health and wellbeing, it develops strong and cohesive communities and it creates a great place to live and visit.

The NKDC Arts Strategy is founded on the Council’s vision ‘Great Art for Everyone’.

North Kesteven Arts Strategy Framework