PYA England: Festivals and Showcases

PYA England has secured Investment Funds from Arts Council England North to explore the viability of a national/international showcase or festival of work for young audiences in the North of England.

Arts Consultancy Brief June 2022

PYA England is the English branch of ASSITEJ UK, the National Centre for the UK and the gateway for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England to ASSITEJ International. It is made up of over 70 professionals (individuals & organisations) who make work for young audiences. It promotes ASSITEJ opportunities and aims to connect artists in the UK with artists abroad. The pillars of ASSITEJ UK are internationalism, professional development and advocacy.

We celebrate excellence in the performing arts for young audiences, whilst promoting and protecting PYA across the UK, advancing the growth of the industry so that it can enrich and nourish both the artists making the work and young people’s experience of the world through live performance.


Building on a recent sector needs analysis, consultation with the PYA England membership and existing/prior English festival producers, PYA England has secured Investment Funds from Arts Council England North to explore the viability of a national/international showcase or festival of work for young audiences in the North of England.

It is anticipated the work will take place over late September 2022 through to late January 2023 and will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Reviewing a cross section of existing UK and international festivals to understand best practice in relation to:

  • formats (including a hybrid of digital & live components)
  • presentation settings i.e. traditional theatre spaces and/or community settings
  • curatorial voice and selection processes
  • target audiences
  • professional development opportunities (including strengthening networks)

Consideration needs to be given to the role of festivals in developing talent, showcasing home grown work to national and international delegates, and PYA England’s commitment to improving diversification, inclusivity, and accessibility of the sector both through leadership and representation on stage.

PYA England is keen that a fresh, independent perspective is brought to this work. One that considers regional priorities, infrastructure demands and the possibilities of new partnership approaches alongside assessing the viability of expanding existing festivals.

Underpinning the work is the interrogation of appropriate financial models, funding sources and management structures.

Project Timeline

Closing date for responses 12 noon Friday 19 August 2022
Interviews 15 & 16 September
Interim report November
Final Report January 2023


A budget of up to £13,125 is available for the work to include fees, expenses, and VAT. An additional £1500 is available as an Access Fund


The appointed candidate will produce a summary of findings of the scoping project, which will include the viability of a showcase of performance work for young audiences and if appropriate:

  • a proposal of festival models, with a preferred recommendation identified
  • a proposed sustainable financial and festival management structure
  • a clear articulation of festival priorities

Expected outputs

  • An interim report, which identifies progress and key emerging findings, to be presented to the Lobby Group and complemented by regular updates on progress.
  • A final report addressing the brief and, if appropriate, expressions of interests & agreement to the proposed management framework.

The report should include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Findings
  • Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusions
  • List of stakeholders consulted


The appointed organisation(s) or individual(s) is required to maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information which they may be party to in the course of the contract, and they are expected to work on behalf of ASSITEJ UK.

Management and reporting arrangements

The appointed candidate will be contracted by ASSITEJ UK. They will be expected to work closely with Claire Summerfield, Chair PYA England’s Lobby Group and Wendy Harris Chair of PYA England, alongside the members of the wider Lobby Group.

The Lobby Group, consists of:

Claire Summerfield, Tandem Works – Chair

Wendy Harris, Tutti Frutti & Chair of PYA England

Kate Cross, Chair ASSITEJ UK and The Egg, Bath

Ruth Hill, Knapsack Productions

Emma Rees, Theatre Centre

Phil Hargreaves, Bradford Council


The successful appointee will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the national and international festival context, ideally including those specifically for work for young audiences
  • Organisational and partnership development expertise, specifically in collaborative models of governance and leadership
  • Minimum of 5 years’ Senior Management experience in Cultural Sector
  • Strong understanding of UK funding structures
  • Commitment to PYA England’s aims of diversification, inclusivity, and accessibility of the sector
  • Report writing skills
  • Strong interpersonal and organisational skills to engage effectively with stakeholders nationally and internationally
  • Administrative and project management skills
  • Availability to deliver the project in line with the required timescales

Those interested in working on this brief should provide a quotation document, video or audio file no longer than 1000 words or 8 – 10 minutes long, which should include:

  • A response to the brief and outlining how you propose to deliver it
  • A timetable for delivery
  • A breakdown of days and costs, including VAT, related to management against the planned work

If you are planning to involve other members of a team, please provide a statement of the number of days / hours each team member will work, along with their job title and daily rates (if applicable).

The following should be included as appendices:

  • CVs and details of the personnel proposed to carry out the work
  • Examples of previous relevant work
  • Names and contact details of two referees – at least one of these should have knowledge of your work in a similar capacity
  • Completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form


To discuss the brief or for more information, in the first instance please contact Ruth Hill via

Please note that PYA England will be assessing all submissions received against the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the brief and key objectives
  • Proposed approach
  • Experience and expertise
  • Value for money

Read the PYA England Manifesto