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NECP Partner Organisations

NECP works closely with many organisations and groups across the region and beyond. Below are a few of those that we work with most closely and who bring depth and expertise to the partnership and help frame the strategic direction. Some, such as the Historic Environment Forum for the North East brings together organisations involved in a specific strand of our culture. What Next? on the other hand is a network that brings together front-line practitioners from a range of cultural specialisms.

There are links to these partner organisations that will enable you to find out more.

Historic Environment Forum

North East Historic Environment Forum


The North East Historic Environment Forum is a group of organisations that work together to promote the value of heritage in the North East and Tees Valley. Their members are all senior figures from key organisations involved in managing the region’s heritage. They include: representatives from national and local government, the private sector, heritage funding agencies, museums, charities and professional institutions.

The North East Historic Environment Forum is one of nine regional historic environment forums operating across the country. The Forum provides a vehicle for joint working and for adding value to the work of individual organisations.

The national Historic Environment Forum has recently produced a strategic framework for the historic environment sector called Heritage 2020. This sets out how heritage organisations across England can work together to support local heritage.

The action plan for the North East Historic Environment Forum plan is based on those themes from Heritage 2020 that have greatest relevance for the heritage sector in the North East and Tees Valley. Their action plan is available to download from the Heritage Alliance website.

Their main priorities for heritage in the North East include: promoting its sustainable management, using heritage to support economic growth, encouraging participation in heritage, supporting capacity in the heritage sector and promoting its value to key decision makers.

Read more here

Heritage Counts

Heritage Counts is prepared by Historic England on behalf of the North East Historic Environment Forum. It collates and presents key heritage data about the sector in the North East and reflects the importance of the historic environment to the region and the wider socio-economic well-being of the area.

For further information, please contact:
Nicola Harrison, Historic England on 0191 269 1207 or 07853 198 432

Historic England website

Click here to read the Heritage Counts regional heritage counts 2016 report for the North East & the Tees Valley

Sub-regional culture partnerships

There are several local and sub-regional partnerships across the North East and the NECP brings them together on a regular basis. These sub-regional partnerships stretch from Northumberland in the North to the Tees-Valley in the South and cover both local authority areas and joint-ventures. By bringing them together, these groups can help inform the development and planning for C4C and the regional strategy can also inform their work. One example of how this can help strengthen the role of culture and the region is by ensuring that all of the sub-regional groups can support initiatives outside their area. These might include the bids for City of Culture from Sunderland and Tees-valley or the Great Exhibition of the North based in NewcastleGateshead. They are also able to share best practice and evidence/research more easily, such as economic impact assessments and reviews of the Arts Council sponsored People and Places schemes. The sub-group is Chaired by the NECP and the location for meetings rotates around the region, usually taking in a visit to a cultural venue or exhibition.

NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues

NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues (NGCV) is a voluntary consortium of 10 building-based cultural producers operating 20 venues and sites* across visual arts, performing arts, music, dance, film, writing and literature, heritage, archives and museums and science communication. We are charities and non profit-distributing organisations, sharing a commitment to work collaboratively to increase public engagement in our work, knowledge and understanding of the arts, sciences and culture, as well as developing more resource-efficient ways of working. We achieve greater impact together by developing strategic and creative initiatives, sharing practice and resources and by being a strong collective voice. Our priorities and collective efforts are focussed on: audience development and collaborative communications; a new strategic initiative around increasing cultural access and agency for children and young people; and our ongoing building and organisational improvement work around efficiencies and standards of excellence (across Finance, Human Resources, Facilities).

* BALTIC and BALTIC 39, Centre for Life, Dance City, Live Theatre, Northern Stage, Sage Gateshead, Seven Stories, Theatre Royal, Tyneside Cinema and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, which operates the area archives, museums, galleries and heritage sites: Arbeia Roman Fort, Discovery Museum, Great North Museum, Hatton Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, Segedunum Roman Fort, Shipley Art Gallery, South Shields Museum and Art Gallery, Stephenson Railway Museum

Click here to visit the NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues website

County Durham Cultural Partnership

County Durham Cultural Partnership’s strategic focuses are:
• Marketing and Reputation: develop Durham’s reputation through joined up marketing around the capital developments of the major heritage institutions and creative sector, to generate more enthusiasm and energy about what is happening in Durham over the next decade.
• Audiences and Programme: develop the local, national and international reputation with audiences for innovative arts and engagement around the major heritage institutions and the message that Durham can be one of the most creative places in Europe for creative innovation and engagement around world class heritage.
• Funding and Economy: stimulate conversation and joint working between the arts and heritage sectors and gather partners around the heritage projects/institutions with the idea of making Durham a leading place for innovative arts, education and ‘Illuminating Our Culture, Creativity and Heritage’.

Click here to visit the County Durham Cultural Partnership website

Creative Darlington

Creative Darlington formed in July 2012 following an Arts Enquiry involving nearly 1,500 people. Our vision is that by 2020 and beyond Darlington will be a place where art happens, where the arts matter and where the arts, creativity, culture and heritage are central to Darlington’s identity and economic successes. The vision is underpinned by the principles that the arts, culture and heritage belong to and should be available to everyone, bring people together and champion inclusion and social cohesion. We value excellent practice, by which we mean striving to be best of which we are collectively capable, and the distinct and ingenious heritage of Darlington. Our current priorities are:

• 2025 as the bi-centenary of the first railway passenger journey on Locomotion No. 1 on the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1825
• Contributing to a successful proposal for the Tees Valley as UK City of Culture 2025
• Darlington as a theatre town, with an excellent offer, strong audiences and opportunities to develop practice

Click here to visit the Creative Darlington website

What Next? (NewcastleGateshead; Sunderland; Darlington and area)

There are three What Next groups in the North East – NewcastleGateshead; Sunderland; and Darlington and area; They are part of a national movement that brings together culture practitioners from large and small organisations to discuss cultural strategy and initiatives and to share information and best practice. What Next? has fed in to a number of initiatives and statements by NECP. More information and links below.

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