This project is all about supporting cultural organisations and venues across the Bay in their quest to become more sustainable. As a result, we will create a cultural sector that is more resilient, with a flourishing cultural infrastructure.


With public funding increasingly uncertain, cultural organisations and institutions across Torbay are embarking on new approaches to governance or operation that aim to ensure they are sustainability for the long-term. We are supporting these organisations in this work, in order to develop a cultural sector that will stand the test of time and continue to benefit Torbay's residents and visitors.


We will deliver tailored support and development to Torbay cultural organisations and institutions that are moving into new models of governance or operation. This may include community-led projects, community asset transfer or models which attract new sources of funding. The learning from these exciting new approaches will be shared through the development of resources so other organisations can benefit too.

A number of organisations have been identified to participate in this project. We will deliver strategic and organisational development support to:

  • Paignton Picture House Trust for business planning and feasibility investigations

  • Torbay Culture and Arts Network (TCAN) to clarify and develop an operating model for long-term sustainability

  • Paignton’s Palace Theatre towards establishing Jazz Hands, a new Community Interest Company that can take over the venue from Torbay Council

  • Doorstep Arts during their transition into an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation

  • Artizan Gallery to trial the use of an empty shop as a new exhibition site on Torquay’s busy Fleet Walk

  • an options appraisal for the future, ongoing development and support of Torbay's cultural sector as a whole

  • other cultural organisations that are seeking to work in new ways to become sustainable, as identified during the course of the Great Place Scheme investment.


Through this project, we aim to deliver the following impact:

  • Torbay’s cultural organisations are more sustainable.

  • Torbay’s cultural sector is more resilient as a result.

  • Torbay residents and visitors benefit from a flourishing cultural infrastructure.


Expert consultants will be brought on board to meet the specific needs of each organisation. Sholeh Johnson was commissioned to support Torbay Culture and Arts Network during the spring of 2018.

The New Models of Governance project is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of Torbay's Great Place Scheme.


December 2017 - April 2018: Support to Doorstep Arts (complete)
January - April 2018: Support to Torbay Culture and Arts Network (complete)
From January 2018: Support to the Palace Theatre (complete)
From March 2018: Support to Paignton Picture House (underway)
August 2018 onwards: Regularly review progress to date and options for support and knowledge sharing.

“Working in partnership and openly listening to communities will see Torbay use its extraordinary heritage to drive regeneration and reduce wellbeing inequalities. By investing in and maximising Torbay’s special heritage and culture, we will help Torbay to flourish and be everything it deserves to be.”

– Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, South West