BUSINESS PLAN 2018-22 - The Albany

BUSINESS PLAN 2018-22 - The Albany

Albany Business Plan 2018-22      1

  1.   Introduction and Context                               3

  2.   Mission and Strategic Objectives                       3

  3.   Engagement and Community Development                   4

  4.   Programme and Artistic Development                     7

  5.   Communications and Audience Development                12

  6.   Partnerships, Business Development and Fundraising     14

  7.   Organisational and Infrastructure Development          18

  8.   Building Development                                   20

  9.   Financial Strategy and Outline Budgets                 21


   1. Risk Register                                           23

   2. Communications and Audience Development Plan – Year 1   27

   3. Equality Action Plan – Year 1                           40

   4. Environmental Sustainability Policy and Plan            45

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                    2
1. Introduction and Context
The Albany has continued to grow and consolidate its programmes over the last three years, despite
challenging conditions and cuts to core funding; it has established pioneering new models of working
through collaboration, and earned international recognition for its work. Although there are clear
challenges ahead, the Albany is in a strong position to continue developing its work, responding to
the needs of its artists, audiences and local communities, and delivering its mission with energy and

Our local area boasts a rich diversity amidst areas of high deprivation, but it is changing fast with
significant demographic shifts underway. Our home borough of Lewisham faces its own civic
challenges; it has been identified as ‘the least happy place’ in London, with high levels of
homelessness and mental illness, as well as poor life expectancy. All of this at a time when the
national narrative and sense of identity feel more fractured than for many years.

This Business Plan (2018-22) will help guide the organisation’s development over the next four years.
As a starting point to inform our vision for the Albany’s role, we have borrowed from the metaphors
suggested by the Gulbenkian Foundation’s recent Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations,
which propose that successful arts organisations should be:

       Colleges - places of lifelong learning
       Town Halls – places of debate
       Parks – shared space open to all
       Temples – places of enlightenment and solace
       Home – places of belonging

These chime with our view of the unique role that arts centres like the Albany can play within their
communities, and indicate the potential we have for developing our role and further increasing our

    2. Mission and Strategic Objectives

The Mission

The Albany aims to be:
     An artistic and community resource where diversity and creativity flourish
     A space where new talent is nurtured and exposed to ideas from across the world
     High quality creative experiences relating to the communities we serve
     A creative centre for learning within the community, contributing to the cultural, social and
       economic benefit of South East London

Strategic Objectives

       To put local engagement at the centre of the strategy, further establishing the Albany as a
        world-class community arts centre

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   To inspire the creative potential of our communities and act as a catalyst for change and

       To fulfil the Albany’s potential as a leading UK arts centre, with a programme of high quality
        work that creates an impact locally, regionally and nationally

       To define our messages and tell our story more clearly, allowing us to reach more people,
        extend our influence and achieve more for the people we serve

       To ensure the Albany has a sustainable future, strengthening its business model and
        diversifying its income streams

       To ensure the Albany’s building redevelopment plans reflect the needs of building users as
        well as the Albany’s longer term artistic, social, financial and environmental objectives

Specific SMART objectives are included in all of the following sections.

    3. Engagement and Community Development

The Albany has a long history of working with local communities, and a strong focus on delivering its
‘civic role’ as the the key arts and cultural venue in Lewisham. Engagement is a central theme and
key strategic objective of this plan, and will influence the development of all of our programmes
over the period, as well as being a stimulus for organisational change.

We see the Albany playing a dynamic and central role in both cultural place-making and community
development across Lewisham and beyond; and a commitment to co-creating our programmes with
local people is at the heart of this objective. We aim to take a pioneering role, finding new ways of
working, and influencing working practice across UK arts venues.

The Albany will continue to host and support the Fun Palaces’ national and international campaign
for community ownership of culture, which we helped launch in 2013. In 2016, the Fun Palaces
project created over 300 Fun Palaces worldwide, which engaged with over 124,000 people.

Membership, Governance and Citizenship

The Albany is a membership organisation, with user representation on the Board of Trustees, and is
active in local networks and partnerships, ranging from LEAN (Lewisham Education Arts Network) to
the Lewisham Stronger Communities Partnership Board. We will aim to:

       Launch the first Pay What You Can Membership scheme in the UK in Year 1, building on
        current membership, and focussed on ‘citizenship’, supporting the Albany’s civic leadership
        role and involvement in the local area, as well as supporting the Albany itself.
       Develop our local leadership role through active involvement in networks, partnerships and
        local authority initiatives such as the London Borough of Culture bid.

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Participation and Activism

As well as developing the scope and range of participation programmes for young people and over
60s, we will offer new opportunities for a range of marginalised groups and experiment with new
forms of active participation for people of all ages. We aim to:

       Develop a new ‘events’ strand to the programme by Year 2, creating a space for debate,
        shared learning and encouraging an imaginative, and forward-looking brand of local
        activism, including a series of ‘creative town hall meetings’.
       Develop a new artistic strategy for the organisation and publish an artistic statement via the
        website to enable clearer direction and artistic vision for the organisation and greater/fairer
        access to artists, producers and organisations who wish to propose work.
       Agree a new Youth Strategy (aged 5 -25) in Year 1, to establish the Albany as SE London’s
        leading creative youth hub, with a year round programme and a focus on creativity,
        citizenship and employability.
       Develop cross sector partnerships to establish new arts-based approaches to supporting
        people with mental health or dependency issues, the homeless and new migrants – building
        on current pilot programmes with Displace Yourself and Playing ON from Year 2.
       Launch new website in Y1, and revitalise social media channels, with more user-led content
        and space for debate/conversation, and direct engagement with artists.
       Develop a co-production design process for the planned development of the Albany
        building, to actively involve a wider group of stakeholders and local people.
       Explore closer partnership working with Fun Palaces around facilitating community-led
        events within Lewisham from Year 2.
       From a benchmark of 22,000 participation experiences in 2016/17 (a 40% increase from the
        previous year), we will aim to increase these numbers by at least 20% over the period of the

Developing Community Hubs

Both the Albany and Deptford Lounge are key community hubs for North Lewisham, with a
combined footfall of 685,000 people a year. Both buildings are full of people and community groups
from first thing in the morning to late in the evening, almost every day of the year. We will aim to:

       Reimagine the role of the Albany at Deptford Lounge with an expected new contract (2018-
        23), exploring how this expands the community and civic role of the organisation, building
        on community partnerships and establishing further integration with library services.
       Work with Southwark Council and partners in the borough to develop the role of Canada
        Water Theatre and Library as a local community hub.
       Develop the current community gardening and food growing project at the Albany, creating
        new opportunities for participation, training and volunteering. Explore how this can be taken
        to other sites across the borough.

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   Establish new policies to increase use of space in Year 1, with a range of last minute offers,
        alongside the subsidised and ‘community rate’ usage for community groups, artists and non-

Working Across Neighbourhoods

The Albany works across three sites and increasingly in public and community spaces in Lewisham
and beyond. We aim to:

       Establish a legacy with partners to the Circulate programme (current project ends in Y1),
        presenting high quality outdoor arts in the high streets and community festivals of Deptford
        and Lewisham.
       Continue the Meet Me at Lewisham Homes programme for isolated older people living in
        sheltered housing in the borough (part-funded through the Celebrating Age fund in Years 1
        & 2). Explore ways to expand the programme with partners, including to care homes and
        using digital technologies to work with people in their own homes.
       Increase off-site working with young people including through Love2Dance in partnership
        with Lewisham Homes, and the new Uncover programme commissioned by Youth First at
        youth centres.

Artists and Communities Working Together

The Albany brings artists and communities together in new ways, enabling people to engage with
arts and culture in their daily lives, and to develop new models of co-creation. We aim to:

       Establish a new commission programme for work co-created by artists and communities in
        Year 2, subject to successful fundraising.
       Experiment with mechanisms for community and youth led strands of programming, as well
        as greater involvement in producing new work. For example, by developing the role of the
        Albany Young Creatives programme and integrating community involvement into artist
        development programmes in Year 1.
       Refocus and relaunch the Associate Artists programme for Year 2, looking at how they can
        take a greater artistic leadership role within the organisation, and spearhead both
        engagement and artist development programmes.

Local Partnerships

The Albany works locally with partners in the arts and across sectors, and has established a strong
reputation over the last five years for its pioneering partnerships with local authorities, libraries,
housing organisations, and the health/social care sector. It is the home to 26 resident organisations
and hosts the work of over 280 local community groups on an annual basis. We aim to:

       Continue to develop the close relationship with Lewisham Council, offering support and
        advice in developing strategies and new initiatives, contributing to working groups, and
        collaborating on the development of Deptford Lounge and the Meet Me programme.
       Develop the partnership with Lewisham Homes around the principles of creative
        engagement and supporting neighbourhoods across the borough. Negotiate a new 3-year
        agreement in Year 2.

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                       6
   Work with partners to establish a South East London Cultural Education Partnership, and
        continue to develop relationships with key primary and secondary schools in Lewisham.
       Agree a new Development Strategy for the Meet Me programme with partners Entelechy
        Arts and Lewisham Council in Year 1, aiming to establish a clear arts offer as part of adult
        social care in the borough.
       Establish a new creative networking group for the resident organisations in Year 1, exploring
        opportunities for greater collaborative working.
       Develop a joint venture in Year 1 with both Lewisham Council and a development partner to
        ensure that building development plans meet the long term objectives of the organisation.
       Work with the Fun Palaces team to develop Fun Palaces locally, with additional fundraising
        to enhance the team, and support the campaign in its work nationally and internationally.

Leading the Way

Although this work is focussed on locality, it is essential that we continue to build national and
international profile and relationships around this area of interest, both to share learning and gain
insights from best practice in other contexts. We aim to:

       Maintain our national role through leadership of the Future Arts Centres (FAC) network and
        the Family Arts Campaign – connected to a communications strategy which strongly
        positions the Albany’s role.
       Lead the FAC international project (with ARC Stockton), funded by Arts Council England’s
        Ambition for Excellence programme and aimed at building international relationships for UK
        arts centres, including hosting an international conference at the Albany in 2019.
       Undertake the FAC international ‘Creative Dialogue’ exchange programme in collaboration
        with HOME Manchester, investigating how neighbourhood arts venues can play a significant
        role in the development of local communities, placing artists at the centre of the process.

    4. Programme and Artist Development

In the last year the Albany presented 450 performances from 195 different productions, alongside
1,800 participant sessions, across art forms, including work outdoors and at our three venues. We
commissioned and co-produced nine new productions, and worked with just over 1,200 different

We will continue to develop the programme strategically, focussing resources and streamlining our
approach, rather than increasing levels of activity over the period of the plan. We will integrate our
programmes more fully and respond to the changing needs of the artists and audiences we work
with. We will leverage the arts funding we receive through our mixed income streams, to ensure we
can continue to pay more in artists fees than we receive in core Arts Council England funding.

Diversity is central to the artistic strategy and ethos of the Albany. It is embedded in our mission,
and demonstrated across our programmes and the organisation’s work. Arts Council England’s

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Creative Case for Diversity reflects our own philosophy and approach across the performance and
participatory programmes, commissioning and artist development.

Principles of transparency, collaboration and local engagement will inform our development. We will
publish a new Artistic Policy in early 2018 which will detail a new programming process and clarify
our priorities for the period.

Albany Presents

The artistic programme will focus on high quality performance and participatory work which pushes
boundaries and artform practice across our key artforms: devised and spoken word theatre,
interdisciplinary work, spoken word, music (particularly jazz, urban, soul, experimental, electronic),
circus, and outdoor arts. There will be a priority for work which resonates with our audiences,
provides a platform for unheard voices and reflects the diversity of 21st Century London, particularly
the communities in and around the Albany. We will aim to:

       Review programming patterns in Year 1, looking at themed seasons and festivals rather than
        a rolling seasonal programme; design more flexibility into scheduling, allowing us to both
        plan further ahead for major projects and be more responsive to new ideas.
       Incorporate the new objectives around engagement fully into artistic planning, for instance
        through work co-created with audiences and communities.
       Expand the music programme and invest in partnerships with promoters, developing new
        sustainable income streams as well as building artistic profile and new audiences.
       Expand the scope of work for families, including increased ‘early years’ provision and work
        for the 8+ age group.
       Develop a new focus on intergenerational alongside youth and adult participatory work.
       Continue to integrate the programming across sites; investigate further funding
        opportunities for Deptford Lounge; and develop a plan for reinvesting earned income
        (according to new contractual terms) into the programme at Canada Water Theatre.

Albany Produces

The Albany curates its programme with a range of artistic associates, and works in partnership to
commission and develop new work. Over 60% of our programme is work we co-produce in some
form. Over the period we will establish a clearer Albany role in producing and co-producing work
with artists and companies which tours nationally, ensuring the Albany’s work and approach has a
wider influence across the UK. We will aim to:

       Maintain (and increase) the current c. £25k a year commission fund, with a new strategic
        and fundraising focus.
       Continue to work with partners on current commissions, such as Annie Siddons’ Dennis of
        Penge, Scottee’s Risk and Inua Ellams’ The Little Prince, to ensure successful productions in
        Years 1 and 2.
       Build on the success of the joint Christmas commissioning programme with ARC Stockton,
        with a new round of commissions in Year 1 for 2019 and 2020.; present Nearly There Yet’s
        new version of Pinocchio in December 2018.

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   Develop our co-production with Stratford Circus and LikeMinds (Amsterdam), The
        Decameron, (co-commissioned with Future Arts Centres), with nine artists from the three
        companies working together during Year 1, with premieres in London and Amsterdam in
        spring 2019.
       Develop our co-production with Entelechy Arts and Christopher Green, The Home¸ a 48 hour
        immersive theatre experience planned for spring 2019, following development work
        throughout Year 1. Investigate the development of a festival of older people’s creativity to
        accompany the production.
       Act as a producer for partner and Associate Artist productions to tour more widely, with a
        minimum of two annually by Year 3.

Albany R&D

The Albany supports diverse and multi-disciplinary artists, helping them to develop their careers and
extend their practice, working with them to develop new productions which resonate with our
audiences. In 2017/18 we hosted 34 partnership projects focussed on artist development,
supporting 92 different artists and companies. We aim to:

       Review the current artist development platforms (e.g. BITES, Hatched, Cabaret Playroom,
        and Sound is Sound is Sound) and launch a renewed offer in Year 1, alongside a new process
        for supporting residencies.
       Review and launch a new Associate Artists programme in Year 2, with a focus on artists
        working across programmes and taking a stronger leadership role within the organisation.
       Launch an artists’ membership scheme (subject to review) in Year 2, which enables
        networking and peer support, and encourages more involvement in the Albany alongside
        offers such as discounted ‘last minute’ space and tickets.
       Establish a new ‘Producers’ hub’ focussing on diversity and socially engaged practice (subject
        to fundraising), using the new ‘container park’ in the outdoors space.

Artistic Partnerships

The Albany has established strong partnerships locally, nationally and internationally with
companies and venues, often as producing, presenting and commissioning partners. We aim to:

       Develop London venue partnerships to co-produce and co-present London runs, building on
        new relationships established for Year 1 with Ovalhouse, Stratford Circus, Camden People’s
        Theatre, Shoreditch Town Hall and Roundhouse.
       Continue to work with the festivals Dance Umbrella, London Jazz Festival, Circusfest and The
        Last Word in developing strands for the programme. Investigate new relationships with LIFT
        and Mimefest.
       Deliver the final year of the Circulate outdoor arts programme in Year 1, in partnership with
        Watermans, Stratford Circus, and Millfield Arts Centre, and investigate legacy opportunities,
        including funding, to continue producing and presenting outdoor arts.
       Develop regular networking opportunities for resident organisations and local partners, to
        encourage partnership working.
       Support the delivery of Lewisham Borough of Culture 2019, should the bid be successful.

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   Work with Family Arts Campaign, providing artistic leadership for a strategic bid to Arts
        Council England, aiming to bring high quality international family work to the UK.

Working Internationally

We have been leading the Future Arts Centres’ international project, funded by Arts Council England
Ambitions for Excellence since 2016, and this will continue into Year 1, with a series of six
international co-commissions. We are partners in two major four-year bids to Creative Europe which
will be submitted in January 2018. If successful, these will have a significant impact on our artistic
work over the period of the plan. We aim to:

       Extend our contacts and partnerships with venues across the world in line with the
        International Strategy agreed in 2017.
       Deliver our international ‘creative dialogues’ staff exchange programme in Year 1 (funded by
        Arts Council England), in partnership with HOME Manchester.
       Deliver our FAC commission, The Decameron, and investigate other potential co-
        commissions in Year 1 e.g. The Home with Saitama Theatre in Tokyo and disability arts
        commissions with ARC Stockton and other partners as part of the UK Season in Japan in
       Continue to take an active role in international networks including Trans Europe Halles and
        Circostrada, and investigate other networks e.g. Theatres 360.

Digital Development

We increasingly use digital technology to develop new work and have live streamed productions to a
wide audience, most recently in partnership with Belarus Free Theatre. We aim to:

       Upgrade the website in Year 1, allowing us to reach and communicate more clearly with
        audiences, host content online, ultimately creating a ‘fourth space’ where audiences can
        enjoy Albany programmed work.
       Work with partners such as Goldsmiths, Apples & Snakes, Roundhouse and Fuel actively
        seek out artistic work which uses tech to develop the presentation format and push
        boundaries (such as the recent Warsnare 24.9 surround sound system)
       Develop the use of technology as an enabler in our participatory work particularly with
        elders for communication and remote participatory opportunities.

Meet Me at the Albany

The suite of projects for the isolated over 60s in Lewisham, Meet Me at the Albany, produced in
partnership with Entelechy Arts, has developed considerably in recent years, attracting national and
international attention. It now extends to sheltered housing in the borough, a new choir and the film
club Meet Me at the Movies. In 2017 it won the first national Hearts for the Arts Award recognising
its contribution to social cohesion. We will further establish Meet Me as a key focus for ‘thought
leadership’ for both organisations and as a recognised example of pioneering practice. We aim to:

       Develop a new strategic plan for Year 1 – aiming to ensure the sustainability of the core
        project and extend it locally, including a new site in the south of the borough, partnerships

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with care homes, and a new digital strand; and review the structure of the partnership
       Explore other strategic funding partnerships alongside commissioning opportunities (e.g.
        Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Wellcome Foundation, Big Lottery Fund).
       Develop the project’s leadership role, hosting and contributing to ‘roundtables’, seminars
        and conferences nationally and internationally, allied to a new PR strategy established in
        Year 1.
       Explore models for supporting other projects nationally whilst developing new income
        streams e.g. training, consultancy, social franchises from Year 2.
       Work with Entelechy Arts and other partners to develop the concept of a ‘touring festival’ of
        older people’s creativity in Year 2, alongside the production of The Home.
       Continue with the current project in sheltered housing, funded by a Celebrating Age award
        (Arts Council England/Barings Foundation) and Lewisham Homes; and review in Year 2.
       Build on current academic partnerships with Goldsmiths and Queen Mary (both University of
        London), to submit joint funding bids and develop robust long-term evaluation of the

Work with Young People

Creative youth engagement is central to the Albany’s overall mission and objectives - from strategic projects
and the public programme of events, to governance, access and employment initiatives - youth voice is
invited and celebrated. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, keeping programmes free or low cost and
taking them across the borough, and with a recent focus on both disabled and LGBTQ+ young people.
Fundraising, at both strategic and project-focused level, is fundamental to sustaining and developing the
youth arts programme in the mid to long-term. A new Young People’s strategy (for age 5-25) will be
established from Year 1 and we aim to:

       Ensure that there are accessible programmes throughout the year, across term-time and holiday
        projects at the Albany, establishing a dedicated young people’s space by Year 3.
       Continue to provide programmes on estates and in youth clubs across the borough, building on the
        current partnerships with Lewisham Homes and Youth First.
       Establish the Albany further as a skills and training hub for young people, supporting them into
        education and employment, offering Arts Awards and other accreditation across programmes, and
        building on the current apprenticeships and placements programme. Establish funded Youth Trainees
        across the organisation from Year 3.
       Develop the next generation of artists and producers through expanding the Albany Young Creatives
        programme, and supporting the work of the resident theatre company for young people, Sounds Like
        Chaos, including producing, commissioning and programming their work at the Albany, and
        supporting it to tour more widely.
       Tie in youth programmes to Albany Presents/Produces work wherever possible, exposing young
        people to the highest quality professional artists and experiences.
       Develop the digital element of young people’s work further, including a dedicated space on the new
       Ensure that Arts Council England’s Quality Principles for working with young people are embedded
        within our practice.

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   Support young people as they make the first steps as professionals; continuing to support the
        biannual Ed Renshaw Award for young musicians; reviewing the Young Associates programme in Year
        1; and delivering The Decameron project for young emerging artists in Years 1 and 2.
       Integrate young people’s programmes further within the organisation, including; supporting young
        Board members; trialling training opportunities across the organisation; and launching a new
        approach to intergenerational work from Year 2.
       Develop local partnerships for the delivery of the programme, including with the Lewisham Live
        consortium, selected schools and colleges, and organisations such as Trinity Laban, the Stephen
        Lawrence Trust and GLYPT. Review the partnership with NT Connections to connect with local
        schools and youth groups in Year 1.
       Expand the team from around 2 FTE staff currently to a minimum of 3 by the end of the period,
        subject to fundraising.

SMART Objectives in Year 1 – for Arts Council England

       Co-commission and produce at least six new productions
       Present at least 120 productions, and 300 performances
       Support and work with 4 new music artists, including 4 performances, and partnerships with
        2 new music promoters
       Develop our spoken word programme to include 6 shows and 2 works in progress and a new
        partnership with resident organisation Apples & Snakes
       Develop at least 2 international artistic projects in partnership with national and
        international producing partners
       Ensure at least 50% of artists and companies we work with are classified as ‘diverse’ as per
        the Creative Case
       Partner with at least 2 diversity-led or focussed organisations in artist & audience
        development programmes
       Achieve a minimum of 30 Arts Awards for young people

    5. Communications and Audience Development

In 2016/17, the Albany had an audience of 54,879 for productions, and participant numbers of over
22,000. 27% of the audience came from groups defined as the least engaged through Audience
Spectrum, compared to a benchmark for London venues of 14%. Over 40% of the audience were
from BAME groups, and most were relatively local with 49% living within 5 miles. However, our
audience reach has grown in recent years, with 36% travelling over 15 miles, compared to just 1% in

It was clear from consultation with stakeholders and staff that one of the key changes the
organisation needs to make in the next period is to define its messaging more clearly and to ‘tell its
story’ more compellingly and effectively to a range of audiences.

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*Note: this data comes from ticket buyers and does not include participant groups, who tend to be more local
and from specific demographic groups.

Communications and PR

There has been significant progress over the last period in terms of increasing media coverage locally
and nationally, and this will be a key focus for development over the next period. We aim to:

       Define clearer messaging and positioning for the organisation and its programmes, through
        a structured process involving staff and stakeholders early in Year 1.
       Develop an integrated PR Strategy aimed at regional audiences and the wider sector
        nationally by the end of Year 1, including engaging participants and stakeholders more fully
        in telling their story of the Albany.

Digital Engagement

We have successfully shifted marketing and communications to digital channels in recent years, and
expect to continue this process. Currently there are 135,000 visitors annually to the website, and we
have increased social media engagement by over 80% over the last three years. 35% of bookers tell
us they decided to book from online engagement, compared to less than 20% from other methods (a
further 35% cited ‘word of mouth’). 52% of the audience booked online. We aim to:

       Launch a new website early in Year 1, with a target to increase online engagement by 30%
        over the period of the plan.
       Increase the amount of video generated for the website and other channels, including
        professional and user-generated content.
       Work with Spektrix (ticketing software provider) and the Audience Agency to improve data
        collection and analysis; sharing data with partners and the sector as appropriate.
       Develop all social media channels, with a focus on establishing a more distinctive voice, and
        increase engagement by 40% over the period of the plan.

Audience Demand

The Albany is valued by local audiences, winning a Time Out Local Culture Award in 2017, but is also
now reaching audiences across London and beyond for specific programme strands. We will focus on
audiences from our local area, meeting the demands of our changing local demographics, whilst
maximising income from ticket sales from both local and wider London audiences. We aim to:

       Continue to review the effectiveness of the marketing mix and different marketing channels,
        including the use of a season brochure in Year 1. We aim to shift from achieving an average
        of 55% capacity to 60% over the period of the plan.
       Develop specific campaigns in Year 1, aiming to increase re-attendance within a year from a
        15% benchmark to 20% by Year 2.
       Develop ticketing and pricing strategies to maximise income and reduce costs (barcode
        tickets etc.) whilst maintaining access, with a target of increasing average ticket yield by 20%
        over the period of the plan.

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Audience Development

We will maintain the diversity of our audience, reflecting the diversity of South East London by:
targeting groups with least access to and engagement with the arts; targeted outreach to diverse
groups; and local audience engagement activity. We have achieved the Gold level award in access
from Attitude is Everything (one of only 7 venues in the UK to reach this level), and recently won the
Attitude Award for innovation in access. We aim to reach a target of at least 25% of our ticket buyers
from segments defined as ‘less engaged’ with the arts on an annual basis, and will:

       Work across teams to engage with specific target groups, setting annual targets. For
        instance, we will build on our recent success working with the local Vietnamese community
        in Year 1.
       Work across Albany and partnership projects to engage specific groups, for example: with
        Meet Me to engage isolated older people; with Displace Yourself to reach people displaced
        by homelessness, addiction or mental health issues; and with Heart n Soul to engage with
        learning disabled people.
       Develop the Lewisham Homes partnership, building on a range of opportunities for people
        from lower incomes to access Albany programmes.
       Work through the Every Child scheme to engage with all primary schools and a wider range
        of families in Lewisham.
       Engage with a wide range of local people by: hosting at least 6 stalls on Deptford Market a
        year; having a presence at large scale community events (at least 4 a year); and working to
        maximise and engage the audiences through the Circulate outdoors programme.
       Review the use of subsidised and ‘Pay What You Decide’ ticket schemes in Year 1, including
        the £1 ticket offer for new local audiences.
       Continue to provide a range of audio described, BSL interpreted, and ‘relaxed’
        performances, developing relationships with target groups and working with partners to
        ensure best practice

Quality of Experience

We aim to continue improving our data collection, research and evaluation procedures over the
period and to maintain and, improve where appropriate, our current levels of audience and
customer satisfaction. Currently 88% of audiences rated their visit at 4 or 5 stars out of 5 stars and
the percentage that strongly agreed or agreed with the following statements was: 83% - ‘my eyes
were opened to some new ideas’; 86% - ‘will be talking about the performance for some time’ ; and
74% - ‘aspects of the performance were relevant to my own life’ .

    6. Partnerships, Business Development and Fundraising

The Albany has developed a successful social enterprise model, with 58% of its turnover from earned
income in 2016/17 compared with just 14% from core funding. Income streams included room,
theatre and office hire; ticket sales; café bar sales; and partnership contracts with local authorities

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                      14
and Lewisham Homes. Income from fundraising has also steadily increased in recent years and was
just over £814k in 2016/17 (including capital funding), amounting to 28% of turnover.

The majority of our customers and clients are partners, local people and community groups, so we
are careful to take an approach to income development which complements our programmes and
enhances our civic role as an arts organisation. This approach was recognised with our award of Best
Social Enterprise as part of the Mayor of Lewisham’s Business Awards in 2017. We take an
integrated approach to fundraising and business development, which is managed by one team
within the organisation.

Strategic Partnerships

This has been a key area for development over the last six years, with a range of new partnerships
which have allowed us to more than double our income, whilst significantly extending the reach of
the work we do in South East London. We will aim to:

       Develop the partnership with Lewisham Homes to secure longer term funding (the current
        contract ends in 2020); and investigate the potential for further partnerships with housing
        providers in South East London
       Agree a Development Plan in Year 1 for the expansion of Meet Me at the Albany with
        partners Entelechy Arts and Lewisham Council – exploring wider health/social care
        commissioning and partnerships locally, including securing ‘cultural prescribing’ with the
        local Clinical Commissioning Group, and look at the potential of providing training and social
        franchise models at a national level.
       Develop cross sector partnerships (funding and commissioning) to establish new arts-based
        approaches to supporting people with mental health or dependency issues, the homeless
        and new migrants. Develop current partnership with Displace Yourself from Year 2.
       Develop the local leadership role through networks and partnerships, and look for other
        commissioning and partnership opportunities with Lewisham, Southwark and other councils.
       Continue to build relationships with key departments at Goldsmiths, University of London
        and aim to secure an agreement around a strategic partnership in Year 1, with the potential
        of developing further income streams.

Managing External Sites

The two most significant partnerships have been with Lewisham and Southwark Councils, to manage
and programme the Deptford Lounge and Canada Water Theatre, resulting in successful contract
renewals for both venues since the initial appointments in 2012. We will aim to:

       Reimagine (and expand if possible) the role of the Albany at Deptford Lounge with the new
        contract (2018-23), including further integration of the library service, and maximising
        income opportunities.
       Continue to deliver the Canada Water Theatre contract until 2021, maximising income so
        the surplus can be reinvested into artistic programmes. Consider rebidding for the contract
        in 2020.
       Explore involvement in the management of the Broadway Theatre in Catford with Lewisham

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                     15
Family Arts Campaign

The Albany became the accountable body and lead partner for the project in 2016, and was
successful in applying for national ‘Sector Support Organisation’ status through the Arts Council
England’s funding programmes for 2018-22, with a guaranteed annual grant of £130k. The campaign
is now an integrated part of the Albany’s operations, but we have produced a separate four year
Business Plan for the programme, to be published in March 2018.

Supporting the Creative Economy

There are 26 resident organisations at the Albany, including eight Arts Council England National
Portfolio organisations, the Independent Theatre Council, and a number of smaller creative and
community organisations. We aim to build on these partnerships to maximise funding and business
opportunities, and to share resources where we can. We will aim to:

      Review the type of organisations we need to attract to the building in the future, and
       proactively seek organisations that can bring resources, and add value in the delivery of our
      Trial a ‘container’ village in the garden (subject to a feasibility study), earning additional
       income in Y1 and Y2 and preparing for the new building project. This widens the scope of
       our resident organisations to include start-ups and sole traders, and allows us to develop a
       clearer strand of ‘incubating’ new creative businesses.

Shifting the Business Model

The Albany has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability in recent years, shifting its business
model to meet changing needs and new challenges. We will continue to look at how we can use our
resources and assets in different ways to maximise income potential, as well as preparing for the
longer term potential of our building development plans. We will aim to:

      Increase income from the artistic programme. This will mean taking a more commercial
       approach in some areas (e.g. music and club nights) including investing in partnership with
       promoters, maximising bar spend etc. A new Pricing Strategy will aim to increase yield by at
       least 20% over the period, following a significant increase planned for 2017/18.
      Build on current opportunities to establish a new consultancy and service business by Year 2,
       ranging from consultancy focussed on areas such as venue development and creative
       engagement, to technical/production services and financial and marketing support services
       for smaller creative and community businesses.
      Investigate new income streams in conjunction with the Family Arts Campaign, with a focus
       on specialist cultural and charity sector conference management, building on our track
       record in this area.
      Maximise use of space in buildings through diversifying rental models, and build on recent
       success in finding new target markets and streamlining booking systems, to increase income
       by 20% over the period.
      Ensure that building development plans are focussed on the organisation’s long term
       financial (and other) sustainability.

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                     16
Cafes and Bars

There has been some success since 2016 as part of a strategy of building the food and beverage
income stream into a sustainable business, after a difficult few years with some significant losses.
We now run three catering outlets across the three venues. The current strategy has focussed on:
developing effective management and staffing structures; rationalising food production; reducing
wastage; improving procurement; pricing strategies; and refining the offer to different customer
strands. Capital investment in 2016 has significantly improved the customer environment at the
Albany site.

We will build on this base and break-even by July 2018, delivering a small surplus by Year 2. We will
aim to:

       Continue the development of current strategies to improve efficiencies and rationalise
        staffing, production and pricing.
       Establish the CaffA brand across sites, shifting perceptions from ‘community café’ to ‘social
        enterprise’, allied to an ongoing marketing and PR campaign in Year 1, aiming to build the
        daytime customer base.
       Work with the programming, hires and FOH teams to build income from both bar sales and
        event catering.
       Adapt the model at Deptford Lounge as part of the new contract. This could range from
        closing the café completely to integrating with FOH services to incorporating losses relating
        to agreed service levels within the contract agreement.
       Continue working with the in house community gardening project, using produce and
        supporting brand development. Investigate the development of shared training and
        education programmes around food production and food growing from Year 2.
       Explore further commercial opportunities such as contract catering and additional sites from
        Year 2.

Taking a Leadership Role

We will maintain our national role through leadership of the Future Arts Centres network and the
Family Arts Campaign, encouraging innovation, sharing best practice, and supporting advocacy,
partnership development, and shared resources for the sector. We will:

       Lead the Future Arts Centres’s Development Programme, funded by Esmée Fairbairn
        Foundation, looking at new partnership models with universities, housing and health/social
        care sectors, and commercial partners, sharing ‘Toolkits’ with the sector in 2019.
       Develop the range of Family Arts Campaign services for the arts sector in the UK (see
        separate Business Plan).

Private Giving

This has been a difficult area for many small and medium sized arts organisations in the UK, but the
Albany has had some success during 2017/18 in developing philanthropic giving from individuals and
corporates with its new A Theatre Trip for Every Child campaign. We aim to:

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                      17
   Continue the campaign in Year 1 (funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation), prepare a ‘Toolkit’ to
        share with other organisations and review its success prior to developing further for Year 2
        and beyond.
       If successful, seek support to roll out the Every Child programme at a regional or national
        level with partners ARC Stockton.
       Develop the new membership scheme from Year 2, looking at opportunities to increase
        donations from members and support wider ‘community fundraising’ initiatives from
       Engage the Board more fully in fundraising and set an annual fundraising target for the

Trusts/Foundations, Strategic and Partnership Fundraising

The Albany has successfully built new relationships with a number of major Trusts/Foundations over
the last few years, and we see the opportunity to build on this in the next planning period. We have
developed our fundraising capacity (although this is still very limited) and we have integrated
fundraising more fully into the work of the project teams.

We will continue to look at opportunities for strategic funding through the National Lottery, Arts
Council England and statutory sources, and work through partnerships and networks to submit bids.
We aim to:

       Establish a new Fundraising Plan for the beginning of Year 1 focussed on this area, included a
        structured approach to relationship building, planning and management.
       Prepare and submit at least three major bids (£100k+) in Year 1 alongside a regular schedule
        of smaller bids
       Work with Family Arts Campaign as lead artistic partner on a bid to bring high quality
        international family work to the UK.
       Prepare a strategic bid for the Heritage Lottery Foundation in Year 1.
       Build on current European partnerships and explore the possibility, post Brexit, of being an
        ‘associate’ partner on EU funding bids.

    7. Organisational and Infrastructure Development
The Albany is as an organisation undergoing constant change as it adapts to the needs of its
communities and stakeholders. It also has to meet the challenges of very limited resources and
decreasing public investment.

The organisation has grown steadily over the last three years and has evolved its organisational
structures over that period. We aim to invest carefully in the infrastructure development of the
Albany, with a focus on longer term sustainability as well as immediate demands. We take a
collaborative approach and are conscious of our responsibilities to support smaller organisations and
the local infrastructure, as well as the need to support innovation and develop best practice within
the arts more widely.

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                     18
HR Development

The Albany sees its team as the key resource for the organisation. It also a significant local employer,
creating over 20 new FTE jobs in the last few years. Over the last three years it has successfully
integrated teams more fully across sites, and has recently trialled new approaches to integrating
FOH, technical and café bar teams in the delivery of events.

Although the Albany is acknowledged as the second most diverse major arts organisation in the
country in terms of BAME staff representation (according to Arts Council England data), we see this
as an area for continued and renewed focus in the next few years, as well as a key issue for the
cultural sector more widely. Over the next period, we aim to:

       Develop a new ‘Wellbeing Strategy’ in Year 1, focussing on staff welfare and designed to
        produce longer term organisational benefits e.g. staff retention and more effective working
       Review the structure of the creative and communications teams to focus on new forms of
        engagement (including digital) and user-led or co-produced content for Year 2.
       Review our staff training and development plans on an ongoing basis, aiming to maximise
        benefit from limited resources.
       Develop a new focus on leadership development, including for emerging leaders within the
        organisation, looking at networking, mentoring, training and staff exchange programmes
        (e.g. Creative Dialogues in Year 1), and supporting wider initiatives in this area.
       Continue our commitment to increasing the lowest pay rates above the rate of inflation, and
        reaching London Living Wage for all staff by Year 3. We will continue to review and
        benchmark all salaries and pay rates against industry standards on an annual basis, ensuring
        fair pay for staff and artists.
       Continue our core organisational focus on embracing diversity and ensuring representation
        in our workforce (see Equality Action Plan). We will continue to review our HR and
        Recruitment policies, as well as supporting initiatives locally, regionally and nationally
        focussing on this area of work.
       Establish training roles across the organisation (subject to fundraising) from Year 3, and
        continue to integrate young people’s and participation programmes to support local people
        into employment.
       Maximise our successful model for partnership working, reviewing the partnership
        agreement with Entelechy Arts for Meet Me in Year 1, and developing our leadership of the
        national Family Arts Campaign and Future Arts Centres network.
       Develop volunteering opportunities within the organisation further, having established
        successful schemes for Meet Me and the gardening project; investigate digital and ‘micro-
        volunteering’ options.

Board and Governance

The Board comprises a wide range of skills and experience from a diverse group of people, and
includes representation from the membership and different stakeholder groups, including
volunteers and three members of our young people’s programmes. The constitution ensures that
new Board members are appointed on an annual basis, and we undertake skills audits and review

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                      19
recruitment procedures regularly. In 2016, the Board appointed a new Chair, Dame Joan Ruddock
DBE, who was the area’s MP from 1987 to 2015. The Board will review this Business Plan annually,
and the Risk Register and KPIs quarterly, as well as ensuring robust self-evaluation procedures
throughout the organisation. During the period we aim to:

       Review the organisation’s membership structures in Year 1, ensuring a dynamic and
        effective oversight of the organisation’s governance.
       Review the training, development and self-evaluation procedures for the Board in Year 1,
        aiming to maximise the value of Board members’ skills and knowledge.

Systems and Policy Development

The Albany continues to review its policies and procedures on a regular basis, as well as auditing its
Health and Safety procedures, and ensuring compliance with licensing conditions. We have
successfully upgraded our IT systems in recent years within very limited budgets, and moved to an
external IT support services provider in 2016. We have already brought together a working group to
manage the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018.
We aim to:

       Establish the upgraded Artifax event management software system in Year 1, ensuring it is
        used effectively throughout the organisation.
       Launch a new website in Year 1, investigate linking to Artifax for e.g. online room hires, by
        Year 2.
       Ensure the Environmental Sustainability Plan achieves multiple objectives, including
        reducing building running costs; and review new initiatives on an ongoing basis with the
        support of the cross-team Sustainability Group.

    8. Building Development
The Albany commissioned a building development ‘Masterplan’, working with the RIBA Stirling Prize
winning architects, Witherford Watson Mann, in 2015. The study looked at a redevelopment of the
Albany’s one-acre site in Deptford, to include 100+ apartments, and a reimagining of the Albany’s
current facilities. The Albany is in the fortunate position, as an independent trust, of owning its own
building and land, and sees this is a significant opportunity to secure its long term future.

The current building was opened in 1981, and has long been in need of updating and capital
investment. The aim is to improve and develop the current facilities to meet the needs of the
organisation and its stakeholders over the next generation, with a focus on developing the
organisation’s ability to generate more income to ensure its ongoing sustainability.

The Albany Board has decided to keep in place the unique, in-the-round main space, which
benefitted from a significant £500k upgrade in 2016. The new building will also comprise a new 150
seat theatre, new studios and rehearsal space, community facilities, café bars and a restaurant,
three cinemas, and increased space and facilities for creative businesses.

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                      20
The Albany had to put its planning process on hold in 2016, as an application was made by the 20th
Century Society to Historic England for the building to be listed. The Albany took professional advice
and worked with Historic England, but delays to the enquiry meant that the process took over a
year. A final decision came in March 2017, for the Albany not to be listed, which allowed us to start
working again properly on developing the project.

The Albany has set up a Development Board to guide the process, with four Board members and
external expertise, alongside new professional advice. In 2017 we have:

       Undertaken a new study with architects and cost consultants, creating more flexibility in the
        Masterplan to take different approaches and cut costs.
       Undertaken a business planning exercise looking at the revenue implications of different
       Agreed options for different ‘joint venture’ arrangements with development partners,
        aiming to maximise income from the housing and ensure the Albany has control over its own
       Explored options with key stakeholders Lewisham Council and the GLA.
       Undertaken financial due diligence and a ‘soft marketing’ exercise to benchmark different
        types of development partners.

In Year 1 we will aim to:

       Identify a development partner and negotiate a ‘joint venture’ contract, setting up an
        appropriate company or vehicle to undertake the work; and undertake further detailed
        financial planning.
       Undertake a fundraising study and further negotiation with stakeholders, including
        Lewisham Council, GLA and Arts Council England.
       Undertake a more detailed business planning processes – looking at both the operations of
        the proposed new building and of the Albany’s organisation during the building process.

In Year2, we hope to commission a design, consultation and planning process. It is possible that
building works could begin in Year 3 or 4, in which case this Business Plan will be superseded by
updated plans.

    9. Financial Strategy and Outline Budgets
There are two over-riding risks to the Albany’s income to consider. A tender will be issued at the end
of 2017 for a new 5-year contract to manage Deptford Lounge; and the current funding contract
with Lewisham Council is due for renewal in April 2019.

For the purposes of the budget, we have assumed that the Albany is successful in winning the
Deptford Lounge contract. It has been indicated that the scope of the contract will increase, but we
also expect margins to be tighter, and have assumed a loss to core income of c. £30k a year from
Year 1. We have assumed a 20% reduction (c. £38k) in core funding from Lewisham Council in Year 3.

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                      21
These losses will be balanced by incremental increases in fundraising and earned income, and a
rationalisation of staffing levels in Year 3.

We have prepared additional contingency plans to cover the risk of loss of either the contract or the
grant, and have built up sufficient free reserves of £180k as mitigation against these risks.

Outline Budgets for 2018-22

                                                            Year 1      Year 2      Year 3      Year 4
                                               17/18        18/19       19/20       20/21       21/22
LB Lewisham main grant                          188,200      188,200      150,560     150,560     150,560
ACE NPO                                         176,015      176,015      176,015     176,015     176,015
Deptford Lounge contract                        484,477      505,000      505,000     505,000     505,000
Canada Water contract                           163,500      190,000      190,000     190,000     190,000
Lewisham Homes contract                         140,000      140,000      140,000     150,000     150,000
Fundraising - grants                            237,970      242,000      265,000     282,000     302,000
Fundraising - donations                          25,000       30,000       30,000      32,000      34,000
Office, Theatre and Room Hires                  381,000      400,050      420,053     436,855     449,960
Food and Beverage                               341,350      358,418      376,338     391,392     403,134
Programme Ticket sales                          135,782      142,571      149,700     157,185     163,472
Co-production fees                                  -                      10,000      15,000      20,000
Consultancy                                       8,000         8,000      10,000      15,000      20,000
Sundry (bank interest, etc)                       5,000         5,000       5,000       5,000       5,000
Family Arts Campaign                            166,723       224,403     183,391     241,189     199,958
Fun Palaces                                     234,029       187,400     106,150     100,000     100,000
TOTAL INCOME                                  2,687,046     2,797,057   2,717,207   2,847,195   2,869,099

Live Programme costs                            185,282       186,000     188,000     190,000     192,000
Artist Develoment/Commissions                    26,000        26,000      36,000      45,000      50,000
Creative Projects                               170,160       170,000     180,000     195,000     210,000
Programme Research                                5,500         6,000       6,000       6,000       6,000
Deptford Lounge delivery costs                  273,809       325,000     325,000     325,000     325,000
Canada Water delivery costs                      97,889       120,000     120,000     120,000     120,000
Lewisham Homes project costs                    105,000       105,000     105,000     110,000     110,000
Family Arts Campaign costs                      141,723       199,403     158,391     216,189     174,958
Fun Palaces costs                               227,008       181,778     102,966      97,000      97,000
Marketing and Development                        42,000        43,000      44,000      46,000      47,000
Café Bar costs                                  357,509       359,000     370,000     383,000     393,000
Staff - salaries                                722,397       733,233     725,565     740,077     754,878
Staff - ERNI/Pensions                            73,000        80,000      79,600      81,192      82,816
Staff other - recruitment, training, travel      11,500        11,500      12,000      12,500      13,000
Building and Utilities                          126,200       128,724     131,298     133,924     136,603
Administration and Finance                       73,000        74,460      75,949      77,468      79,018
Contingencies, depreciation/capital              49,069        44,000      50,000      50,000      50,000
TOTAL                                         2,687,046     2,793,098   2,709,769   2,828,350   2,841,272
Surplus                                              (0)        3,959       7,437      18,845      27,826

Albany Business Plan 2018-22                           22
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