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Warwickshire County Council

Reproduced by kind permission of Warwickshire County Council.

Warwickshire County Council

Public Art Policy and Criteria for Allocation of Funds

1999 -2004

1. Introduction and Background

In November 1994 Warwickshire County Council's Policy & Resources Committee approved a Percent for Art Policy. This stated that ëThe County Council acknowledges the value of commissioning art in relation to new developments and re-developments as a source of benefit to Warwickshire communities and the environment.' The Policy also approved a new Code of Practice which set out guidelines and delivery of Percent for Art.

This Policy was successfully implemented in many areas, resulting in various Public Art projects delivered via an Advisor post in the County Arts Service. However the policy failed to achieve corporate status, continually needing to be negotiated on a project by project basis with each department. Following a budget cutback and the cutting of the Advisor post, the lack of dedicated funds to contract specialist advice resulted in a responsive programme of development work. The Percent for Art policy stood alone, effectively unrelated to strategic plans and county priorities.

In order to address these issues a report was submitted to the County's Policy Committee in December 1998. The main recommendations were that Policy Committee include £50,000 annually from 99/00 in the Capital Programme for Public Art for the next three years (to 01/02). This would allow a more flexible, strategic and developmental approach to the commissioning and support of Public Art in the County. The management of this fund and of a revised Policy statement is to be a corporate responsibility from April 1999, assumed by the Public Art Steering Group, representing all departments, and facilitated by the County Arts Service.

This revised Policy document and criteria statement has resulted from consultation with that group and reference to the original Code of Practice. It offers guidance to county officers and partnership organisations on County Council policy for Public Art and the operation of Warwickshire's Public Art Fund.

2. Definition of Public Art

Art giving a sense of identity and place, located in publicly accessible places which are not dedicated arts spaces. Public Art may stand alone, be temporary or permanent, or may be an integral part of a larger development (e.g. the unique design of one aspect of a new building).

3. Rationale and objectives for commissioning

  • To contribute to the cultural heritage of Warwickshire and celebrate the County's cultural identity.
  • To enhance aspects of the physical environment and enhance environmental awareness.
  • To inspire a sense of citizenship, community and positive local identity.
  • To provide opportunities for artists, craftspeople and manufacturing companies and encourage artistic experimentation.
  • To support County Council policies and corporate initiatives.
  • To create examples of best practice in working methods and final product.

4. Funding sources and eligible costs

The County Council has made a capital commitment of £50,000 per year for three years to a Public Art Fund. This fund may be used to lever further funding for certain projects, as well as fund them outright. Project Managers may be asked to undertake fundraising for specific projects on a commission basis (10%). Further funding sources include:

  • Developer contributions
  • Private sponsorship
  • Arts Lottery
  • Association of Business Sponsorship of the Art awards
  • Royal Society of Arts Art & Architecture Awards
  • Trusts and Foundations
  • European Union sources (e.g. SRB)

Eligible Costs for Public Art projects:

  • Research and feasibility studies for projects
  • Artist's design proposals
  • Artist's fees, travel and subsistence expenses
  • Artist's consultancy fees when working as part of a design team
  • Fabrication of the artwork and material costs
  • Payments to contractors re. transport, site preparation, installation, insurance etc.
  • Documentation, evaluation and monitoring costs
  • Public and press relations expenses, project launches (excluding staff time)
  • Project management services
  • Education and community programmes directly linked to projects
  • Maintenance or aftercare costs

5. General Principles of Implementation

Equal Opportunities

This policy will be implemented within the context of the County Council's Equal Opportunities Policy, involving artists and participants regardless of race, sex, religion or disability or additional needs. The criteria for the allocation of the fund (see section 7) put emphasis on the reflection of the broad range of community input and involvement by artists and arts professionals.


Client, partner and community consultation is an integral and ongoing aspect of the art commissioning process and will be encouraged through all stages of planning, implementation and aftercare of projects as follows:

a) where a specific user group may be identified (e.g. a school, Social Education entre), consultation will take place as widely as possible within that group.

b) where projects are aimed at a more abstract public (e.g. a road scheme) consultation will seek to address diverse interest groups through mechanisms such as the local press and public presentations of proposals as appropriate.

c) all project consultation will include the earliest advice of the relevant County officersand members, District/Borough authority and other relevant partnership organisations.

Integration, Collaboration and Participation

Artists will be encouraged and expected to work with architects, local people, Council officers amongst others. Liaison with relevant District/Borough officers will be encouraged (e.g. Planners, Town Centre Managers). Artists will be involved as early as possible in any capital scheme. It will be recognised that artists can have input into both the functional and decorative aspects of capital projects.

Local groups and communities should participate in and inspire the creative process wherever possible.

Quality, Innovation and Local Distinctiveness

Projects will ensure that Warwickshire is at the forefront of new ideas and practice and that high quality is achieved.

Projects will always be site specific.

Reference to local heritage and natural history will be encouraged.

6. Operation and Management

Management of Public Art Funds

Decisions on the funding of individual projects will be delegated to the Public Art Steering Group - a cross-departmental officer group with representatives from departments with a major capital spend: PT&ES; Property Services; Education; Social Services; Libraries & Heritage and Fire & Rescue. The work of this group is to be facilitated by the County Arts Service. The Public Art Steering Group will report via the Arts Service to the Community Development Sub-Committee and to the Information, Leisure and Consumer Committee. Final authority on projects and funding allocation will be delegated to the Public Art Steering Group.

Selection of projects

Public Art projects to be funded mainly from the County's Public Art Fund will be selected on the basis of the criteria in section 7.

Tenders, Contracts and maintenance

Artist selection procedures and project briefs will be guided by the County Arts Service in consultation with partners and clients.

Fabrication contracts will go out to tender according to the WCC financial regulations and contract standing orders as relevant. It will be noted that minor contracts are for up to £10,000 and ordinary contracts of £10,000 to £100,000 must be registered by the Libraries & Heritage department.

Agreements with Artists will follow standard guidelines adopted by the National Artist's Association. Contracts will include issues of copyright & ownership of pieces; artists working on site; installation and delivery; maintenance commitments; changes to site leading to resiting or resale of work.

For guidelines on Project Management contracts please see below.

Press and Publicity

The County Arts Service will be responsible for arranging for Press and Public Relations campaigns linked to projects.


The County Arts Service will provide a programme of advocacy activities for members and officers from the County Council and Districts/Boroughs. The Public Art Steering Group will devise a more detailed Advocacy programme as relevant to the work areas of their own departments. This will be targeted at internal officers and links with external organisations e.g. Highways Agency, District/Borough Planners, Town Centre Managers.

Project Management

Skilled project management is essential to ensure the best communication between artists, clients and the community. Project Managers will ensure a commitment to all these parties. Projects will be managed from a pool of managers who will be asked tobid to feature on an Approved Supplier List. Each Manager/organisation will be approved for the list according to County Council regulations on past performance; specialist experience & expertise; financial standing and other commitments affecting their competitive ability. The County Arts Service will be responsible for selecting the most appropriate Project Manager from the Approved Supplier List for each project. The County Arts Service will manage a project if the appropriate skills and time are available ëin house'.

The County Arts Service will draw up contracts with Project Managers which will include planning; community consultation and involvement; briefing of artists; organisation of election of artists; negotiation with artists; liaison with other partners and all project implementation including contracting of artists, manufacturers, installers and afterlife.

7. Specific criteria for funding from Warwickshire County Council Public Art Programme

Selection criteria for the Public Art Programme relate directly to the County Plan priorities and to principles of Best Value (quality, value for money, consultation, continuous improvement). The criteria will be implemented to achieve a spread of pilot and developmental projects over the initial three year programme, addressing all the criteria between them. Essential criteria for every project are marked with a *.

County Plan Priorities (for reference):

1) Improving education and opportunities for young people

2) Improving opportunities for people to get jobs

3) Reducing crime and anti-social behaviour

4) Improving the environment

5) Improving the independence and quality of life for older people

6) Taking action to make people feel less isolated or excluded from society

7) Improving the health of the community

8) Meeting housing needs

9) Providing a fairer transport system

Public Art Fund Criteria

Social and Economic Criteria

1) Use of local artists and manufacturers where possible ( County Plan priority 2)*

2) Contribution to equitable spread of projects in both urban and rural sites

( County Plan priority 6)*

3) Contribution to equitable geographical distribution of projects ( County Plan priority 6)*

4) Demonstration of partnership-working with other organisations and agencies*

5) Enhancing and integrating with capital projects from all departments (linking to priorities 7,8,9)

6) Contribution to social and economic regeneration priorities (linking to all priorities)

Artistic and Quality Criteria

7) Demonstration of quality and innovation ( County Plan priority 4)*

8) Relevance to local area and heritage ( County Plan priority 6)*

9) Demonstration of a clear rationale for commissioning and evaluation process*

10) Ensuring the use of a wide range of different artforms ( County Plan priority 4)*

11) Ensuring clarity of maintenance proposals and physical ownership/copyright

Community and Consultation Criteria

12) Consultation with local and relevant communities ( County Plan priority 6, 3 ,4)*

13) Public awareness of projects and access to artwork*

14) Members' awareness of, and consultation on projects*

15) Recognition that the process of working in communities can be as important as the final product ( County Plan priority 6)

16) Participation in schemes by local communities, targeted at young, older and socially excluded communities ( County Plan priorities 1, 5, 6)

8. Selection Procedure for funding

Appropriate proposals can be made via a departmental representative on the Public Art Steering Group or directly to the County Arts Service. Decisions will be made by the Public Art Steering Group and funding for projects for each year will be earmarked by June.

County Arts Service
April 1999

For further information contact: Emma Andrews, Head of Arts Service,

Tel: 01926 412492, Email: [email protected]