Creative compact

Warwick District Creative Compact logo

Quick links

  1. About
  2. Members
  3. Terms of Reference
  4. Achievements
  5. FAQs


Warwick District creative compact will provide strategic and visible leadership for the cultural and creative industries in the district and deliver the creative framework vision. The compact, made up of 19 local leaders, will work across sectors to make new connections and drive new partnerships. It will link the cultural sector to broader cultural, social, economic aspirations and priorities for the District. It will create opportunities to connect existing projects and strategies and make better use of existing spaces and resources. It will discover new investment opportunities and be focused on delivering the objectives of the creative framework via a clear action plan and deliver tangible outcomes. compact activity will be informed by five strategic themes; Engagement, Voice, Pathfinding, Place making, Innovation.

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Members in principle (A-Z) include:

  1. 1 Mill Street
  2. BID Leamington
  3. Complex Development Projects
  4. Coventry University
  5. CWLEP
  6. Fish in Bottle
  7. Leamington Chamber of Trade
  8. Live & Local
  9. Made by Sonder
  10. Motionhouse
  11. Purple Monster
  12. RBL
  13. Shakespeare’s England
  14. University of Warwick
  15. Vitsoe
  16. Warwick Castle
  17. Warwick District Council
  18. Warwickshire County Council
  19. Warwickshire College Group

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Terms of reference

Members have agreed to the following terms of reference:

Expectations of compact members

  • Match funding of at least 10% through funds or resources
  • Member organisations are responsible for ensuring that their nominated representative attend compact meetings
  • Members of the compact should be at director / senior manager level or equivalent and therefore able to speak on behalf of their organisations without having to report back or seek guidance
  • compact members should be empowered to make or influence decisions within their own organisation and commit resources, when appropriate
  • compact members are responsible for reporting to the compact on relevant issues from within their own organisation; and for communicating compact business to their own organisation, where appropriate
  • The Chair for the compact may represent the compact on a range of other appropriate boards or working groups as necessary
  • Members will be expected to respect the confidentiality of some discussions and documents to support compact decision-making

Best practice

The compact will operate to the principles of best practice - in compact meetings and when working on behalf of the compact, members will:

  • Work in the public interest - contributing positively to discussions and champion the strategic development of the creative sector
  • Consult as plans are developed - working with other members to achieve consensus on key issues to address priorities for action
  • Always consider what is in the best interests of the District and its creative sector and to balance this with the interests of their organisation
  • Remain accountable to their organisation and / or their sector
  • Raise areas of concern and contribute their experience and expertise to compact
  • Engage on discussions in order to achieve good, workable solutions
  • Encourage mutual trust, respect the views of other members and work collaboratively
  • Declare and manage conflicts of interest Act with due diligence in relation to (public) funding
  • Be prepared to attend regular compact meetings
  • Be committed to equality of opportunity
  • Get involved

Decision making

Decisions will be reached by consensus:

  • The compact will meet every two months
  • Meetings will be minuted. Agendas and associated papers will be circulated to members at least 7 days before the meeting
  • Agenda items should be submitted not later than 14 days before the meeting. Items can only be tabled at the meeting with the permission of the Chair
  • For the compact to be quorate, and where it wishes to make a decision, it will require a minimum of one third of its members present to include either the Chair or Vice Chair
  • An Extraordinary Meeting may be convened with the permission of the Chair and the Vice Chair provided that a minimum of 14 days’ notice is provided to members
  • All members of the compact will observe the probity responsibilities. These include declaration of conflicts of interests.
  • The terms of reference of the compact will be reviewed after the first year of operation
  • On occasion non-members will be invited to meetings to present on specific issues

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Here's a summary of what the Creative Compact has achieved over a 12 month, Arts Council England funded, period (Apr 2021 - Mar 2022):

Campaigns and initiatives:

  • Developed and implemented CultureFest and selection panel
  • Established a Coventry and Warwickshire Creative Freelancer initiative
  • Supported programming and development of Spark 2022
  • Developed a creative consultation project for Leamington Town Hall Creative Hub project
  • Developing a Town Hall Tower project with Warwickshire College Group and Coventry University

Lobbying and advocacy:


Inward Investment:

  • Delivered 3 walking tours of Leamington with CWLEP to businesses hoping to relocate to the area
  • Brought Coventry University’s uXplore launch event to Leamington Town Hall
  • Delivered 9 facilitated tours of Leamington Town Hall


  • 19 Members with high levels of engagement
  • Developed an Action Plan
  • Met 6 times during full compact meeting, including a facilitated tour of Creative Quarter and Town Hall
  • Met 17 times as part of workstream groups

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Frequently asked questions

1. What is a creative compact?

creative compacts are a way to realise the ambition of an area’s creative sector. They are seed funded by the Arts Council England and are initiated by local councils. However, compacts must be embedded in their community and driven by the local creative sector. Typically, compacts are independently chaired by a local leader drawn from the business, education or cultural sector. Board Members of the compact represent the breadth and diversity of an area’s cultural organisations. For most areas this simply means providing the framework to bring people together and enhance existing structures, rather than creating a totally new forum. Each compact is unique, but all must have a strategy (for Warwick District it is the creative framework) and a supporting business plan, with clear and measurable aims, and publish a report on progress annually. The key to a successful compact is to bring together partners who will commit to a shared vision around the impact that culture and creativity can make across an area – and, most importantly, are able to contribute resources and to take action. Effective compacts also have a close relationship to other local delivery bodies and strategies, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to agree the cultural component of a Local Industrial Strategy, health and wellbeing strategies, or spatial and economic plans, and are the go-to body for discussion with national governments

2. How was the compact established?

Warwick District Council have been instrumental in forming the creative compact for the district, with support from Arts Council England. The creative framework, created in consultation with our creative sector, provides the vision and strategic direction for the compact. To kick-start the initiative, Warwick District Council, with the support of its critical friends, identified and engaged a small group of local leaders from organisations representative of the creative community. The group met in September and November 2020 to discuss Terms of Reference and to establish an action plan for future activity.

3. Where did the idea of ‘compacts’ come from?

In late 2018, the UK Cultural Cities Enquiry outlined initiatives that would help UK cities prosper through investment in culture. In light of increasing financial pressures it sought to develop new models that would help arts and culture to thrive. The Enquiry made several key recommendations – including the introduction of Cultural City compacts. Initially aimed at cities, but now including towns, compacts are intended to be a ‘step change’ and draw together partners from across government, culture, business and higher education to provide leadership and strategic capacity. The UK City of Culture project has already shown what can be achieved when a region pulls together in support of culture to drive lasting social and economic benefits. A co-ordinated approach from key stakeholders can significantly raise levels of ambition, and align investment and resources towards common goals. By creating a clear, united vision compacts can unlock additional local resources – money, skills and property – for strategic cultural projects, and also increase the chances of success in attracting additional external investment. Many cities have successfully formed their own Cultural compact’s including BirminghamNottingham, Northampton, Coventry, Stoke and Sheffield.

3. What is the Creative Framework’s Vision for Warwick District?

By 2025 Warwick District will have an established reputation as a thriving creative cluster of national significance and be known for its distinctive blend of rich cultural heritage and cutting edge creative companies. Residents will feel pride in their local area and be inspired by shared cultural experiences which celebrate the dynamic, innovative character of the district. In five years’ time Warwick District will be experiencing the positive economic and social benefits of creative regeneration. Our thriving, interconnected creative sector will play a crucial role in the prosperity of the area and support the ambition of Warwick District being the first choice for people to live, work, and visit.

4. Can I Get Involved?
The compact has identified that the gaming sector is not currently represented in the Membership. If you are interested in representing the gaming sector and agree to the Terms of Reference (above), please contact Johnathan Branson, Project and Development Manager (Arts) on or 01926 456351 to find out more.

5. How do I find out more?
Contact Johnathan Branson, Project and Development Manager (Arts) on or 01926 456351.

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