96% of arts and heritage organisations in Wales are small organisations employing 10 or fewer people – and with over half of arts and cultural venues being identified as at risk of closure due to the pandemic, the need for support has never been greater.
51% of small and medium businesses report struggling to forward plan because of the challenges facing them in 2021, due to coronavirus, Brexit and financial challenges. The need to help small organisations cope and move forwards in these challenging times is answered by the Arts Marketing Association’s (AMA) Small Scale Development Programme (SSDP), which launches in Wales for the first time this November, in partnership with Creu Cymru and with thanks to funding support from Arts Council Wales and sponsorship from Ticketsolve.
SSDP helps organisations identify robust business models and new ways to develop their audiences for long-term sustainable success. It has run successfully in England for several years and is launching in Wales in response to requests from AMA’s Welsh members.
It is specifically designed to help leaders of small arts and heritage organisations develop resilient business plans. The programme was redeveloped in 2020 from an on-location to an online format, making the programme even more accessible to small organisations. A key part of the programme is to help create a support network of small organisations from those taking part, existing beyond the scope of the initial programme.
The Arts Marketing Association has a successful track record of supporting small organisations in Wales, most recently working with 6 Welsh organisations as part of the Digital Heritage Lab, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to develop digital skills and capacity. These included Cynon Valley Museum Trust, Brecon Heritage & Cultural Network and Yr Ysgwrn.
Through this programme AMA will help leaders of small organisations in Wales plan for the future using a tried and tested methodology. The programme will include a series of 6 x online workshops throughout January — March 2022. It will cover marketing strategy framework, brand, understanding audiences, setting objectives, bilingual and accessible marketing, communications and more, bringing together leading experts and mentors to help coach small organisations through the process of becoming more resilient, sustainable and relevant to their audiences.
As this is in partnership with Creu Cymru and thanks to funding from Arts Council of Wales and sponsorship from Ticketsolve, places on SSDP are greatly subsidized at £95 per organisation. SSDP will support up to 24 organisations to work through the in-depth programme, with freely available support on the AMAculturehive website for those organisations that can’t commit the time or money to attend. AMA is committed to making learning and support open to as many people and organisations as possible, and is investing in free resources to support small organisations. These resources will include things like Thinking Big: A Guide to Strategic Marketing Planning.
Cath Hume, CEO of AMA said,
“Small organisations are the lifeblood of the arts sector, and helping them thrive is what the Small-Scale Development Programme is all about. Small organisations matter to their communities and audiences, and the success of small organisations matters to us. So we’re delighted to be able make this programme available to organisations in Wales for the first time, thanks to support from Creu Cymru and Arts Council Wales, and sponsorship from Ticketsolve.”
To find out more about the Small-Scale Development Programme for Wales, visit https://www.a-m-a.co.uk/ssdp-wales-2022/ Registration closes when all places are filled or on Jan 12, whichever comes first.