Arts, culture and libraries 2022

Culture and library services have an essential role in helping councils to engage with, and support, communities to achieve sustainable social outcomes. This is particularly relevant to levelling up, tackling health inequalities and rebuilding from COVID-19 at the same time is many councils are facing increasing financial challenges. The LGA’s important partnership with Arts Council England enables us to provide critical support to our member councils by developing the knowledge and skills of both councillors and officers to champion cultural activity in their local areas during a period of rebuilding, where leadership is needed most.

The LGA has worked closely with Arts Council England (ACE) over a number of years to deliver shared improvement programmes for councils.

We are running a free online leadership pilot for senior officers with the responsibility for culture or libraries. For more information, including how to book, please see the drop down box below.

Senior officer leadership pilot 6 June – 18 July 2022

Programme overview and how to book


Levelling up and rebuilding from COVID-19 are presenting councils with new challenges and opportunities to support their communities. Culture and library services have a valuable role in helping councils to work with communities and partners to achieve impactful and sustainable social outcomes.

To do this, senior officers need to be able to confidently collaborate, influence and make crucial decisions.

Aim of the programme

The pilot will support lead/senior officers for culture and libraries to:

  • Develop a greater understanding of the role of cultural and library services in the future economic growth of the local area.
  • Develop skills to lead entrepreneurial thinking within their services and the confidence to apply those skills.
  • Build and strengthen their peer networks, share information, knowledge and expertise. The pilot will be attended by both library and culture senior staff supporting a unique opportunity for peer to peer learning across these specialisms.
  • Develop a vision about how their services can contribute to tackling social challenges in the post-COVID context, for example, mental health challenges and social isolation.
  • Develop an understanding of change theory and how to apply it.
  • Refresh the tools and knowledge officers have to be cultural and library leaders through peer to peer learning.
  • Learn from a wide range of inspiring case studies presented by LA peers and external speakers.
  • Be more aware of the strategic work of ACE and the opportunities to work more closely.
  • Explore the potential for arts, culture and libraries to work with officer and political stakeholders to deliver across council agendas.
  • Access a learning pathway through the LGA (for officers who have taken part in a Peer Challenge or Recovery and Renewal Panel).
  • Identify how to share their learning within the organisation and with partners.


  • The programme will consist of a cohort of up to 20 delegates who will be taken on the leadership journey, over the course of six facilitated sessions, plus an icebreakers and closing session.
  • Each member of the cohort will identify a specific challenge they are facing in their locality at the beginning of the programme and will have the opportunity to work through this challenge along with other colleagues across the sector. These challenges will be submitted ahead of the programme in an agreed format and circulated among other participants ahead of the course. All responses will be treated anonymously when circulated to the cohort, as the programme is designed to create an honest and open space for delegates to discuss challenges and share knowledge.
  • The participants will be supported by access and signposting to a wide range of relevant LGA and ACE resources.
  • This is not an in-person event. All session, plus the icebreaker and closing session will be delivered via Zoom, due to the online nature of the programme.

​​​Book your place

This programme is fully booked. To join the waiting list please email

Register an interest in upcoming programmes

Peer challenges

We are in the process of delivering online culture and library peer challenges and hope to offer the opportunity for more online peer challenges later this year. If you would like to be among the first to hear about new opportunities please email, provide your name, role, organisation and email address and title your email ‘Add me to the waiting list for peer challenges’

Leadership Essentials: Culture (for councillors)

To be among the first to hear about future Leadership Essentials: Culture programmes please email, provide your name, role, organisation and email address and title your email ‘Add me to the waiting list for Leadership Essentials: Culture’

Tell us what matters to you

Your feedback and ideas help us to shape our programmes. Tell us about the challenges and opportunities that are most relevant to you right now and any support that you would find valuable. Email