CDF Network – Round Two Projects

Key Learning

More Case Studies

The Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Network is the national collective that shares best practice and generates knowledge to capture and celebrate the success of the DCMS CDF investment.  By creating the space to nourish, innovate and re-energise for all of the trailblazing CDF projects, we influence, communicate, learn, celebrate, drive further investment and secure the legacy of the Cultural Development Fund. 

We are delighted to welcome the second round of CDF Projects to the CDF Network and will be tracking progress and sharing insights and case studies from these projects – in addition to the existing CDF round one projects in Creative Estuary, Grimsby, Plymouth, Wakefield and Worcester. In the meantime, here’s a short summary of the second round CDF projects …


Elsecar is an internationally-important and unique cultural asset and attracts 500,000+ visitors per year. The project will transform the heritage centre, creating a makers’ gallery, museum gallery, outdoor performance points, secondary event space and creative workspaces.

With a new network of cultural facilitators, activity and spaces across Barnsley, its impact is expected to be immense with local communities and visitors alike.


The Living Barracks is an ambitious multi-partner project, led by English Heritage, using the heritage asset of Berwick Barracks as a driver for culture-led economic regeneration and job creation and safeguarding in both Berwick and wider Berwickshire. It will create a year-round cultural attraction including a creative hub offering studio and workshop facilities to local artists, an integrated, imaginative museum telling the story of Berwick’s unique position on the Anglo-Scottish Borders, new high quality exhibition space for major touring exhibitions, a pop-up cinema, and a 3-year programme of creative community events.

Isle of Wight

DEPARTMENT is a space to dream big, create, display, perform, learn and exchange skills. A place for all to feel welcome. The former Packs Department store in Cross Street, Ryde, has become Shademakers‘ new base and is already home to artists, makers and workshop facilitators. The Cultural Development Fund now allows for the building works to begin to develop this space into an exciting, bold new cultural event and workspace and a state-of-the-art creative resource for the whole island.


MIMA, The Auxiliary, Central Library and Middlesbrough Train Station are part of a programme which will lead to job creation, improve well-being, access to arts and culture, attract visitors and support the town’s economy.

Access to the world class Middlesbrough Collection at MIMA will be enhanced for visitors and researchers through new spaces and displays. The gallery will also develop its community and learning spaces and create a new pavilion for children and families in its urban garden.

Middlesbrough’s Central Library will be transformed to become a captivating reading paradise for children. It will host events and activities on a national scale to promote a lifelong love of literacy and Middlesbrough Railway Station, managed by TransPennine Express, will aim to become the most creative in the UK building on Platform Arts’ work welcoming artists in residence. The independent sector will receive a further boost as The Auxiliary undergoes a full refit, introducing new artist-led spaces and workshops at the Station Street warehouse galleries.


Rochdale’s CDF2 project, led by Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Development Agency and Your Trust Rochdale, will deliver 3 priorities from Rochdale’s cultural strategy:
(1) Establish a town-centre Cultural Improvement District (CID) incorporating existing assets, new spaces & improved public realm. Invest in signage, branding, paving, lighting, art, programming & marketing to improve attraction, wayfinding & experience, knit together development zones & make new connections across the town through culture.
(2) Rebrand, reconfigure and reimagine Rochdale’s main arts & heritage venue (Touchstones) to create a flagship hub at the heart of the CID with new flexible spaces for production, enterprise, innovation, education, events, collections, exhibitions & performances.
(3) Pilot an innovative, sociocratic Cultural Cooperative Compact building on existing networks, best practice models and research to collaboratively develop and support the diverse creative and cultural sectors across Rochdale Borough.


Led by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and MadLab, Stockport Creative Campus is a three-year town centre reinvigoration programme – transforming Stockport’s heritage-rich historic centre into a sustainable, world-leading digital arts neighbourhood:

  • The Creative Campus. A tightly knit, industry-oriented mixed-use cluster of production, engagement, and inspiration spaces.
  • Campus Talent. Building the skills capability needed to grow the next generation of digital and creative business.
  • Creative Placemaking. A wide-ranging programme of inspiring and inclusive public-facing digital arts activities.


Paignton Picture House

Our CDF ambitions focus on Paignton Picture House, and will deliver:

  • The renaissance of a landmark site to become a cultural hub for Paignton (film, community use, accessing archive material, local history, income generation and performances)
  • Community use of heritage, increased civic pride through culture, and more attractiveness of place
  • Residents will have greater engagement with place and public realm through a tangible example of ‘levelling up’
  • Direct benefits of job creation at the new Paignton Picture House, and with associated partners, service providers and local businesses
  • Skills development including apprenticeships; in parallel there will be a legacy of a stronger cultural tourism offer, essential in a location relying on the visitor economy
Supported by DCMS and Arts Council England

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