We check

We provide expert independent scrutiny of the plans and resilience of arts, culture and heritage organisations for local authorities, private developers, funders, other public bodies and individual organisations who are looking for a health check:

Our work to provide advice to national governments includes:

  • For DCMS England we undertook national and international sector consultations for the proposed London Concert Hall
  • For the Irish Government, assessing the nation’s inaugural international arts festival, Dublin Contemporary; consideration of the amalgamation of the National Gallery, IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery
  • For the Scottish Government, review of local authorities support for culture


Our commissions for national funding agencies and lottery distributors ranges from audits and reviews of specific sectors to reviews of organisations and funding applications; through to mentoring, monitoring and training, for example:

  • For Arts Council England, as financial and governance advisors, assessing business plans associated with funding applications, including new facilities and large new performance venues; we have viewed plans for new facilities through the lenses of the cultural operating environment post -Covid. In our robust process of scrutinising assumptions, we have added analysis of how organisations have identified the potential impacts of changes in customer behaviour, in changes to both the type and availability of artistic activities, the loss of skilled freelances and the priorities of investors as well as funds available. In situations where we have a medium-term mentoring role, we add to this challenge the support of developing scenario plans and risk management.
  • For National Lottery Heritage Fund, assessing plans and organisational resilience associated with funding programmes; during the pandemic we also provided crucial mentoring support to a wide range of organisations in receipt of Emergency Funding and developed and delivered training workshops in Income Generation
  • For Arts Council Ireland, we reviewed Dance Ireland
  • Similarly, we undertake independent assessments for local authorities and commercial developers, assessing plans generated by arts organisations to develop new venues. For potential operators of facilities, we evaluate tenders and proposals and for boards, we evaluate existing and proposed business plans and deliver governance and management reviews


BK has been working with stakeholders in Walsall and Bishop Auckland as they develop plans to realise the significant investment opportunities open to both locations as part of the government’s Stronger Towns Fund. Both projects involve redeveloping redundant spaces in existing shopping centres – in Walsall to replace a space left by Marks and Spencer with a theatre and in Bishop Auckland, working alongside the transformative company Artichoke, to develop live work units for artists. BK is working with the stakeholders to develop options and ensure deliverable projects.

Our wide experience and insight in analysis is also applied to more complex and nuanced reviews. For example, in 2020 we completed a review of Liverpool Theatres for Liverpool City Council and the Arts Council which involved extensive analysis of programme, organisations and the wider theatre ecology across commercial, subsidised and independent organisations as well as the professional theatre community. Post Covid the recommendations of the review are being implemented with a focus on collaboration led by Arts Council NPO theatres.

We enjoy using our forensic skills and determination to get to the bottom of things. Our clients benefit from our extensive experience backed up by our benchmarks informed by our extensive and commercially confidential databank.