Wiltshire Music Centre has been featured as part of a major report commissioned by Arts Council England in tandem with Julie's Bicycle, read the press release below

A report released today, Tuesday 20 November 2018, by Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle celebrates the successes of arts and cultural organisations in acting on national and international climate targets. Julie’s Bicycle has been working in partnership with Arts Council England since 2012 to inspire environmental action across the arts and culture sector, with a focus on long-term funding partners, the National Portfolio Organisations.

Over the past six years, theatres, galleries, museums, music venues, festivals and other cultural organisations across the country have taken great strides to improve their environmental practice. From Contact Theatre and The Poetry Society, to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and Glyndebourne Opera House, these organisations are emerging as leaders and key collaborators in sustainability. They are also presenting artistic and creative work that raises environmental awareness among their audiences in innovative ways.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Organisations are consistently reducing carbon emissions: CO2 emissions have decreased by 35% across the National Portfolio since the programme began.
  • Organisations are more energy efficient: Direct energy consumption has been reduced by 23% since 2012/13.
  • Organisations are increasingly financially resilient: The ongoing drive to reduce energy consumption has led to financial savings of £16.5 million since the programme began.
  • Organisations are experiencing benefits beyond reductions: Environmental practice and carbon literacy are being linked to improvements in other organisational priorities, including team morale and strategic decision-making.
  • Organisations are contributing to a new creative ecology: The above trends drive demand for – and generate new skills and knowledge that support – clean technologies, sustainable goods and services, greener waste solutions and the emergent circular economy. A quarter of the Portfolio are now on a green energy tariff.

In response to the growing commitment demonstrated by the sector, Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle will now shift focus towards accelerating impact and stretching ambition. This includes two new strands of work: The Accelerator Programme, which offers organisations resources and expertise to develop innovative ideas into deliverable projects for greater impact, and a targeted carbon reduction scheme for organisations with large infrastructures, The Spotlight Programme.

Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “In a time when society is tasked with taking unprecedented action on climate change, the Arts Council England commissioned 2017/18 Environmental Sustainability report makes for extremely encouraging reading. The report evidences that with leadership, commitment and creativity arts and cultural organisations are delivering truly inspiring results.”

Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “This report shows how a deceptively simple policy - Arts Council England’s Environmental reporting requirements - can prompt big shifts. Hundreds of creative organisations are demonstrating how a sustainable cultural ecology can work. Environmental literacy is inspiring deeper connections between climate and social justice, investment and innovation, clean energy and new materials, empathy and biodiversity, the past, present and why we must shape the future.”

Christiana Figueres, Founding Partner, Global Optimism and Former Executive Secretary, UNFCCC 2010-2016, said: "Arts and culture are some of the most effective drivers of transformation. They change our minds, move our hearts and spur us into action. So it’s wonderful to see the collaboration between Julie’s Bicycle, the Arts Council and the creative sector succeeding in bringing together so many different cultural organizations to transform the public conversation on climate change, while tackling their own impact as well. Thank you for all your commitments so far and let’s keep blazing the trail, this work has never been more important."

Wiltshire Music Centre is included in the section about Increasing Resilience, with reference to our recent lighting upgrade:

  • "As a part of an upgrade project, Wiltshire Music Centre Trust (Bradford on Avon) is gradually replacing its building lights with LED lights, which, combined with the planned upgrade of its auditorium’s lights, should enable it to reduce CO2 emissions. This investment is at the heart of its 20th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal; to date it has gathered half of the funding required, including £12,000 in winnings from the M&S Energy Fund competition and Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon. The Trustees have agreed to underwrite the rest of the funding while fundraising efforts continue and the lights upgrade in the Auditorium was successfully completed in August 2018."

The report is available to download online and read from Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England