ACE NPO Announcement

Posted on Tue 1 Jul 2014

Watershed secures cash standstill Arts Council England National Portfolio Funding 2016 -2018

We are very pleased to be confirmed as a continuing part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio and look forward to sustaining Watershed’s leadership and innovation role in the cultural ecosystem. The ethos and aspiration of our application is perfectly encapsulated by Charles Leadbeater in his essay ‘Arts Organisations in the 21st Century’:

“Creativity, culture and art are central to modern society: how we make our livings, take our leisure, enjoy ourselves, express our identities, bind together our communities, explore our history and speculate about the future.”

We will continue to champion cultural engagement, imagination and ingenuity, putting artists and audiences at the core of our business. The programme will focus on cultural cinema, talent development and new forms of artistic practice, enabled by technology.

Diversity and collaboration will continue to run through everything we do, driving engagement, invention and enterprise. We will also extend our partnerships with young people, both to support them in exploring their own creative potential and to inform and disrupt ours.

“Watershed is simply the most open place there is to engage with others, try out new ideas and take risks. It’s not that they are experts, they just love diving into stuff and finding out by doing – this is such a centrally important concept when working with diversity. Rather than being tied in knots by political correctness, they play, learn, expand and inspire others.” Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited.

The learning and practice that has developed through The Pervasive Media Studio has been key in informing and inspiring Watershed’s vision for growth. To take full advantage of increasing profile and demand, we have created a new role of Creative Director of Watershed. We are delighted to announce that Clare Reddington has been appointed to this new position. This new leadership role will bring together Watershed’s engagement, creative technology and cinema teams to amplify connections and maximise reach.

“I am delighted to take on this new role at a truly exciting time for Watershed. Our distinctive attitude to curation and talent development, which blends playfulness, diversity and care, will be key to remaining relevant in rapidly changing times. I look forward to working with the brilliant Watershed team to continue to push boundaries and share our projects with the world.” Clare Reddington, Watershed Creative Director.

Bristol is nationally and internationally recognised as a city which is perfectly placed to address the complexities of the 21st century. A strong and engaged cultural sector is a vital piece in the economic, social and educational future of our city and therefore it is very encouraging to see more Bristol organisations included in the Arts Council National Portfolio. This is a very welcome vote of confidence in the quality and breadth of Bristol’s arts sector and in Bristol City Council’s continuing support of the arts.

Further Information:

Total Projected Income for the current year 2014/15 is £4.7million

This total includes Annual Funding of:

  • Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation £744,289
  • Bristol City Council Key Arts Provider £104.960
  • British Film Institute Grant in Aid £86,000


About Clare Reddington, Watershed Creative Director

Clare joined Watershed in 2004 to work with HP Labs on the first films to be produced in ‘The Cloud’. In the last few years, Clare had led on Watershed’s creative technology programme including The Pervasive Media Studio, Playable City and REACT.  Clare was a finalist in the British Council's UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur 2009 and has featured in Wired magazine's 100 people who shape the Wired world.


Major initiatives to look out for:

Making the City Playable Conference September 10 & 11 2014 & launch of the second Playable City Award

From Stockholm’s Piano Stairs to Bogata’s traffic mimes, a global movement of unusual city interventions is taking shape, using playfulness to connect people to each other and the places they live and work. We call it Playable City. On 10 and 11 September 2014, we are bringing together a brilliant group of thinkers, makers, planners and civil disobedients, to look at cities as playable places and ask how we make and unmake our future cities?


Rife Magazine launched June 2014

Born out of a partnership between Bristol Youth Links and Watershed, Rife magazine is a new magazine for young people, written by young people.


Black History Month October 2014

A continuing collaboration with Ujima Radio and Afrika Eye as part of the annual national celebration of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. In October 2013 the Guardian said “There are Black History Month events – film and otherwise – all over the country, but Bristol has the best of them”

See the collection of content from Black History Month 2013 on Dshed.


Film Hub South West and West Midlands

Watershed is the Lead Organisation for the Film Hub South West & West Midlands which stretches from Cornwall and Dorset to the West Midlands. The Hub is part of BFI Film Audience Network, chaired by Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove, a ground-breaking initiative developed by the BFI to develop film audiences across the UK for specialised and British cinema.