Andrew Miller MBE has been announced as the UK Arts Access Champion; he will work alongside and support partner nations to create a UK-wide access scheme for the arts.
The key aim of the scheme is to promote inclusivity, and to ensure equality of access to arts and cultural events for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent visitors. The scheme will be free at the point of use and include listings, routes to online booking and companion ticket offers, industry backed standards for venues, and training and development for the sector. The initiative will build upon existing schemes such as the hugely successful HYNT scheme in Wales – an initiative of the Arts Council of Wales, managed on their behalf by Creu Cymru. HYNT is a cardholder scheme that promises a consistent offer at member venues in Wales.
Arts Council of Wales along with Creative Scotland, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Film Institute (BFI) have been working in partnership to consider how such a UK-wide scheme can be created, including commissioning research and feasibility studies. This work was informed by the views of D/deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent people and the wider creative and cultural sector. An advisory group has been established made up of 14 D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people from across the UK which is independently chaired by Sam Tatlow MBE, Creative Diversity Partner at ITV.
The UK Arts Access Champion will play a key role, using knowledge, expertise and lived experience to act as an advocate with external stakeholders, and be a critical friend to the partnership as we work to research develop and deliver the scheme, and we are thrilled that Andrew Miller has joined us on this journey.
Andrew Miller said:
“I’m delighted to have been invited to assist the Arts Council of Wales and its UK partners to deliver this important and exciting project. The UK-wide arts access scheme offers a transformational opportunity to improve access and quality of experience for disabled audiences as well as to further remove existing barriers to culture. I can’t wait to get started.”