Cultural organisation charity Culture24 has merged with audience development agency The Audience Agency, combining the two charities under The Audience Agency name.
All of Culture24’s ongoing clients are moving to The Audience Agency, as are its three remaining team members Jane Finnis, Anra Kennedy and Alec Ward.
Culture24 said in a statement: “After 22 years as an independent charity, we are excited to announce our merger with our long term collaborators and friends – The Audience Agency.
“By combining our complementary experience and expertise, built over many years of supporting and leading positive change, we can together offer a vital new resource for the cultural sector.”
The Audience Agency said it has restructured and developed its business model to offer a new ‘five-pillar programme’ of services and products.
The former Culture24 team will “lead on a digital pillar, consolidating their prowess in cohort learning programmes, leadership development, and digital transformation., it said.
The other four pillars are: participation and engagement, impact and evaluation, cultural and creative places, data and evidence for policy.
In their announcements, both The Audience Agency and Culture24 referenced Arts Council England’s decision to remove the organisations from the Arts Council Portfolio in March 2023. It was a decision which The Audience Agency said meant “services and jobs were put at risk”.
It said the merger would mean “years of ACE investment in tools and resources, skills and experience will continue to benefit the sector” and will allow it to “continue to provide services for Arts Council Wales and Creative Scotland”.
Following the merger, The Audience Agency has announced the Let’s Get Real initiative, an action research programme first organised by Culture24 in 2010. This year’s programme will focus on “the ways that using digital can add value for audiences, communities and organisations.”
Jane Finnis, Consultant Director at The Audience Agency – and former CEO at Culture24 – said the merger comes at “the perfect moment”.
“Together, we can offer the sector a new generation of services, built on our shared learning, that will support the kind of positive change so urgently needed. This merger harnesses the expertise, knowledge, insight and relationships of both organisations.”
Anne Torreggiani, CEO of The Audience Agency added: “Merging with Culture24 is one of the most exciting aspects of our new model. We’ve worked in partnership on a lot of projects so we already had a keen sense of shared values and how well we complement each other.
“Plus, between us, we’ve got a pretty awesome network in the UK and internationally. But our Boards challenged us to go further, to ‘make one plus one equal three’, to create an offer together that would more than double the value and impact we had on our own.”