A new era for A New Direction

Our CEO, Steve Moffitt, looks ahead to a new era as A New Direction joins Arts Council England's 2023-26 National Portfolio

18 April 2023

On 31 March 2023, A New Direction concluded delivering our role as the Sector Support Organisation for Children and Young People for the London region. For the past 11 years, as the Bridge organisation for London, we were tasked by Arts Council England to deliver a strategic function for the capital, with a set of roles and responsibilities to develop and deliver across the city to support how children and young people engage with and experience the arts, creativity, and culture.

A new era

Although the end of a significant chapter, we are now at the start of a new era - redefining our offer and our programmes as we proudly join Arts Council England's 2023-26 National Portfolio.

While this is a moment of significant change, we are the same organisation.

Our vision and mission remain the same, and we will continue to develop our work enhancing the capacity and agency of children and young people in London to own their creativity, shape culture, and achieve their creative potential.

Our values of equity, connectivity, trust and respect, creative culture, and kindness continue to run through everything we do, and our aims and objectives as an organisation and much of our work will be very similar.

Our focus

Over the next three years, we will deliver work that we believe needs to happen – the work that we think is the most relevant to London’s children and young people and the adults, organisations and partners who work with them. We will focus on the work that we want to deliver, and that we feel we are best placed to deliver.

The focus of our work will continue to be:

Culture: helping cultural, arts and creative organisations in London develop their work with children and young people.

Education: working with teachers and schools to provide students with high-quality creative opportunities.

Place: support local strategic partnerships and cultural leadership.

Employment and Skills: supporting young creatives to explore and develop their knowledge, interests and skills and access opportunities in the creative, cultural and digital industries. Key to our new role and function will be greater visibility of the work of our Employment and Skills team in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park through the Good Growth Hub, where we are an integral asset in the emerging East London employment ecology.

We are excited by what lies ahead.

We will be sharing our new programme of work in more detail as it develops over the coming months, and will communicate how you, as a partner, participant, or funder, can participate, engage, or advocate for what we are doing.

Our Programmes (2023-26)

The work we will aim to deliver will include the following programmes:

Teaching for Creativity: A Continuing Professional Development programme designed to develop a deeper understanding of how to use creativity to access and develop a rich and dynamic stimulus in the classroom.

I Am (Disability Arts Inclusion Programme): A yearlong engagement programme developed for and with deaf/disabled and neurodiverse Children and Young People opening up access, develop creativity & progression routes.

Cultural Care Network: Care professionals & cultural sector partners convene to share practice, co-design & test run a creative offer to support care-experienced Children and Young People.

Digital platforms & resource archive: Development of online platforms to further embed & connect our learning & creative communities and make better use of our rich archive of resources.

Youth Voice: A programme of opportunities that empower Children and Young People to set and decide their own agenda, and to access opportunities & support to capture and share their views.

Place-based Partnerships & Leadership: Forum and resources for sharing practice & learning that builds local capacity across creative eco-systems, unearths new leaders and fosters creative connections between people and place.

Employment and Skills Alumni Network: A series of events and workshops that provide alumni from our Employment and Skills programmes with access to support, professional networks, personal development training, and profile-raising.

Pre-employment training: Immersive training, co-designed with industry for Young People to explore and develop their knowledge, skills and interests in the creative, cultural and digital industries and build the confidence and skills to take the next step in their career.

Careers Coaching and Information Advice and Guidance: A programme of 1-2-1 and group career coaching for young people, providing valuable information, advice, and guidance to support in building a career in the creative and cultural industries.

Creative Industries Employer Offer: A series of events, workshops and masterclasses to support employers to address some of the challenges they may face recruiting diverse young local talent and adopting inclusive employment practise and policies.

Freelance Support: Sustainability package for underrepresented 18-30's seeking to remain and/ progress in the Creative and Cultural Industries as a freelancer.

Employment Programme: Supported job creation programme to improve young Londoners access to careers in the Creative and Cultural Industries, prioritising young people from demographics that are currently underrepresented in the creative sectors.

Good Growth Hub Space Activation & Outreach: Internal and external series of events and workshops and visits to use the GGH as a space that is for local community and used to convene partnerships, encourage collaboration and connect the local actors in and around the Olympic Park.

What's changing?

As you can see, our work remains the same in spirit, and much of how we approach and deliver our programmes moving forwards will be familiar to those who know us. However, there are some specific aspects of our previous work that we will not be continuing.

Partnership Investment: We will no longer offer Partnership Investment funding, match funding that supported Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) to build their infrastructure and support their work in various parts of the city between 2015 and 2023. We continue to believe in the value of place-based work and the importance of a local cultural education offer for young people and have committed to work in new ways with LCEPs and support places in how they build, develop, and grow their cultural education offer.

Artsmark Delivery: From July, we will no longer be the Artsmark Delivery Agency for London. Later in the summer, Arts Council England will provide more information about how a new national delivery provider will deliver the Artsmark training and support and work with Artsmark Partners. Artsmark is not changing; it is just how the delivery of this work is evolving.

Our premises: We have moved out of our office at 50 Worship Street, EC2A 2EA. Following three and a half unusual years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our need and use for the space changed significantly. We will spend the next 12 months scoping new spaces, and the Good Growth Hub will be our main registered business address during this time.

The road ahead

This transition will take time, but the strategic nature of who we are and how we work will remain and is part of everything we do. We are very much a backbone organisation, with an ability to galvanise partners around new and exciting projects and programmes, bringing an overview, new perspective, and a voice to address gaps in provision, create new opportunities, and make significant, meaningful things happen.


I am grateful to Arts Council England and all our funders for their investment, guidance, and support which has enabled A New Direction to become the sustainable and independent organisation it is.

I would particularly like to thank our Bridge organisation colleagues as they begin their own journeys beyond the bridge network, and I look forward to working with many of them in new and exciting ways in the future.

We have a strong and committed team at A New Direction, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of them, current and past, for their commitment, energy, drive, and passion for seeing through our vision and mission at every opportunity.