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PANDA Announcement of Closure

PANDA Announcement of Closure

PANDA – Performing Arts Network and Development Agency, will cease trading on 25th June 2018.

Our full announcement is below should you wish to read it. Here is a summary:


The current challenging climate has increased demand for our support whilst diminishing our capacity, reaching the point whereby the Board consider PANDA can no longer effectively fulfil it’s mission and remain viable. The dictionary definition of support is ‘bear all or part of the weight of; hold up’. We cannot provide support without ourselves being supported.

A tiny organisation, PANDA has managed for many years to punch above it’s weight, working strategically and creatively to provide support to thousands of  individuals. The Board and staff are proud of our work and many achievements.

Alongside the winding up process, our main efforts will be in ensuring elements of support remain for current members after we close. We will be collating an online archive of resources and signposting to alternative sources of support. New jobs, events and opportunities will be posted onto the site once a week until mid-June. We will also be announcing details of PANDA’s Legacy Funds – our savings account (reserves) which the Board have decided to offer as small professional development grants. So please do keep an eye on our website and look out for our emails during our last few months.

All of us at PANDA have been honoured to work with you, our valued and resourceful members and wish you all the very best in your future journeys.

We hope you will continue to contribute to and benefit from the networks, professional development and peer solidarity that can only be achieved through courage, creativity and above all, collaboration.



Congratulations to Chris Salt: Play reading at Royal Court 21.5.18 & Northern Stage 09.18

Congratulations to Chris Salt: Play reading at Royal Court 21.5.18 & Northern Stage 09.18

The Royal Court Theatre has collaborated with Northern Stage and New Writing North to create a new writers’ group.  The first public readings of the plays that have been developed by the group will take place in The Site at the Royal Court Theatre in May 2018.

Royal Court Writers’ Group: North was open to playwrights based in the North of England. The nine writers selected have spent the last three months in sessions with UK leading playwrights Stacey Gregg, Emteaz Hussain, Alistair McDowall, Simon Stephens and Tom Wells.

The new writers include Olivia Hannah, Karen Laws, Mhairi Ledgerwood, Laura Lindow, Jack Nicholls, Tamsin Daisy Rees, Lindsay Rodden, Chris Salt and Zosia Wand. The readings will be directed by Royal Court Associate Director Lucy Morrison and Northern Stage Artistic Director Lorne Campbell.

Each writer has been developing a new play for the stage. Following the readings in May at the Royal Court, the plays will also be shared at Northern Stage in September.

Please find details of the readings below:

Man Hours

Written by Chris Salt

Directed by Lucy Morrison

The Site

6.30pm Monday 21 May 2018

A play about boys, Burnley and betrayal.


Cheer Up Slug

Written by Tamsin Daisy Rees

Directed by Lorne Campbell

The Site

6.30pm Tuesday 22 May 2018

A play about sex, slugs and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.


Paper Tiger

Written by Mhairi Ledgerwood
Directed by Lorne Campbell

The Site

8pm Tuesday 22 May 2018

A play about love, language, and fear.



Written by Olivia Hannah

Directed by Lucy Morrison

The Site

6.30pm Wednesday 23 May 2018

A play about friendship, identity and hair.



Written by Zosia Wand

Directed by Lucy Morrison

The Site

8pm Wednesday 23 May 2018

A play about a Polish headscarf, a teenage girl and a dead seagull.


Island People

Written by Lindsay Rodden

The Site

6.30pm Thursday 24 May 2018

A play about sleeping giants, uprising women, and a dance hall at the edge of the world.



Written by Karen Laws

The Site

8pm Thursday 24 May 2018

A play about recrimination, loyalty and rape.


Dear Pig

Written by Laura Lindow

Directed by Lucy Morrison

The Site

6.30pm Friday 25 May 2018

A play about bones, bedding and bruises.


Harsh Noise Wall

Written by Jack Nicholls

Directed by Lucy Morrison

The Site

8pm Friday 25 May 2018

A play about limbs, brains and every member of The Fall.


Tickets are £5 per reading or £8 for two readings and can be purchased on the show page here.

For more information see the full press release here.

AD:UK announces closure

AD:UK announces closure

We were sad to see yet another network and support organisation announce closure.

Arts Development UK – the national network for those working in the creative industries – largely aimed at Arts Managers working in institutions and Local Authorities, has now confirmed that it has ceased operations from 1st April 2018. A resolution was passed unanimously at the ADUK AGM which took place on 22nd March, with the next three months being mapped out as a final period to close the charity. The following is the official notice letter written by their Chair and posted on their website:


Dear Colleague,

As Chair of Arts Development UK I am writing to share with you a very difficult discussion that the trustees needed to have about the future of the organisation. Arts Development UK has a long and successful history stretching back over 35 years, and has done much to raise the profile of arts in local communities and to develop our sector. However, as you are aware, the landscape for Arts Development UK has become more and more challenging over the past few years. Significant numbers of local authorities have lost their arts development services and officers, or have had to operate with greatly reduced budgets, and our ability to raise income through subscriptions has reduced year on year.

Careful financial management has meant that the charity has been able to operate within those reducing means, however over the past year this has been at the expense of the conference, seminar programme, and administrative support. The over-riding principle for trustees has always been the consideration of how to meet the objectives of the charity: to provide effective support to you, our membership. The trustees therefore concluded that Arts Development UK has reached the point where it could not provide that effective support and remain sustainable on its current income level. This has been despite all of our best efforts to increase membership, including from the H.E. sector and bidding for grants. This was a difficult decision to reach, however all the trustees were in agreement that the charity could not carry on as it had been.

At the last Trustees meeting, and after careful consideration with our Regional Coordinators, Trustees agreed that it was not appropriate to charge subscriptions for another year, and that the only possible next step would be to carry out a managed closure of Arts Development UK. To this effect, a resolution to close Arts Development will be put to the membership at the AGM on 22nd March 2018, taking place at Toynbee Studios in London. All members are welcome to attend.

Alongside the winding up process, our first priority has been to make sure that all our members were able to join an appropriate alternative organisation, able to provide the support they require. We know that members particularly value the regular communication provided by the e-zine, the CPD opportunities of the conference and seminar programme, and the knowledge that we are all part of a national voice. Therefore, we have opened up strategic discussions with other carefully identified organisations, including the Chief Culture and Leisure Officers Association (cCLOA) and the Artsworks Alliance to support our members in England and in Wales to identify new ways to provide these from April 2018 onwards, and Pete Bryan, our administrator, will be sending out more information about these and other professional membership organisations that some of our members may wish to join in the coming days.

Above all else, I hope that you can find a new home with either one of the organisations we have been talking to, or with another, so that you are able to contribute to and benefit from the networks, professional development, and national advocacy that can be only be achieved through collaboration.

If you have any questions or concerns please do get in touch. Contact details for myself, the trustees, and our national administrator are listed below.


Jane Wilson

Chair of ADUK


Digital Courses, Manchester.  April – Nov 2018

Digital Courses, Manchester. April – Nov 2018

Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) is a grassroots innovation organisation, based in Manchester UK. Our primary areas of focus are science and technology; arts and culture. We have several courses coming up – more information about any of these is on our website:

MadLab workshops for children & young people

Wednesday 11 April 2018  

Stop Motion Animation at MadFabLab (for ages 8+)

LEGO Comic Book Design at MadFabLab (for ages 8+)
Thursday 12 April 2018
Code-A-Drone Workshop at MadFabLab (for ages 8+)

Computer Game Design Workshop at MadFabLab (for ages 8+)


MadLab workshops for Adults

WORDPRESS – 2 day courses with WordPress co-founder Mike Little

Beginners – Build your first website with WordPress

Thursday 17 May 2018
Thursday 18 October 2018
Intermediate – Take your WordPress to the next level

Thursday 14 June 2018
Thursday 15 November 2018

Advanced – If WordPress is your business – as a developer, power-user or marketing pro – this is the course for you.

Thursday 19 April 2018
Thursday 13 September 2018



Introduction to Laser Cutting: Wooden Coaster Tiles – 19 April 2018

Code-A-Drone for adults at MadFabLab – 26 April 2018

Introduction to Arduino at MadFabLab – 12 May 2018

Bid Writing – Led by Laura H. Drane – 16 May 2018

News – Arts Council’s New Funding Programme Replaces Grants For The Arts

News – Arts Council’s New Funding Programme Replaces Grants For The Arts

Arts Council, England have revised their funding programmes, replacing Grants For The Arts with new funding streams:

National Lottery Project Grants:

Open to individuals and organisations, arts, museums and libraries to apply to for projects between £1k and £100k. Under £15k with a decision in 6 weeks. Over £15k with a decision in 12 weeks. This fund is now open for applications via Grantium.

Developing Your Creative Practice:

A new fund for independents designed for ‘allowing creative practitioners the time and space to work on ambitious and innovative research and development opportunities to make a step-change in their practice’. Grant range £2k  £10k. Round 1 for this fund opens 12th April 2018 with a deadline of 16th Mary 2018. Applications via Grantium.

Information is on the Arts Council website here:


Our sister network IDMN has created some helpful resources for both these funds: downloadable template for Project funding of under £15k (others to follow)

In addition, a handy video and application template for the Developing Your Creative Practice Fund: