David Metcalfe – The Cultural Forum for the Bath Area

David Metcalfe – Co-Chair – The Cultural Forum for the Bath Area

David is a director and the co-chair of the Cultural Forum for the Bath Area CIC – an independent coalition of arts, heritage and creative organisations which acts as the collective voice for culture in Bath and beyond. The Cultural Forum aims to encourage cultural entrepreneurship, provide cultural leadership and promote cultural literacy. David is also a director of the Bath Bridge CIC, an independent city-wide advisory group concerned with positioning Bath as a place with a dynamic, beautifully inventive future, and which facilitated B&NES Council’s recent Cultural and Creative Strategy Review. David has a degree in History from Aberystwyth University (BA, 1975) and in Archaeology from Newcastle University (MPhil, 1978), and is a chartered public finance accountant (CPFA, 1987).

David is a specialist in organisational development, providing consultancy services to enterprises undertaking change and improvement initiatives. He has many years’ experience evaluating the use of resources by organisations at local, national and international levels, through his former work at the UK National Audit Office (1984-2005) and at the Wales Audit Office (2005-2010), which has led to significant impacts in improving value for money and business processes. David has written and co-authored numerous publications on a wide range of programmes and projects, including Sustainable Development and Business Decision Making in the Welsh Assembly Government (Auditor General for Wales, January 2010), The Arts Council of Wales: Supporting Major Capital Projects (Auditor General for Wales, January 2008) and Ministry of Defence: The Financial Management of the Military Operation in the Former Yugoslavia (Comptroller and Auditor General, December 1996). Between 1996 and 1998 David also spent periods on secondment to the United Nations Board of Auditors in New York, leading investigations into the worldwide activities of the United Nations Development Programme. With particular expertise in corporate strategy, business planning and capital project development, David has a keen interest in how organisations formulate, articulate and regenerate their corporate narratives. As well as working on projects for creative and cultural enterprises, David is currently an external assessor for the Arts Council of Wales’ national lottery-funded capital programme.

David is also a freelance narrative consultant, performance storyteller and folk-singer, specialising in the narrative interpretation of landscape, archaeology and history. He has co-produced several major storytelling shows and appeared in theatres, arts centres and other venues across the UK, working on his own or with the storytelling company, Fire Springs, which he co-founded in 2000. David runs workshops in story-making and in storytelling which explore imaginative pathways for bringing the past to life through the creative use of story in relation to places, sites, objects and events. He is the author of ‘Voices in the City’ in Storytelling for a Greener World: Environment, Community and Story-Based Learning (Hawthorn Press, April 2014) and co-author of An Ecobardic Manifesto: a vision for the arts in a time of environmental crisis (Awen Publications, December 2008). He has written a feature article for the Guardian newspaper about the rich folklore of the British Isles entitled ‘Bringing the Landscape to Life’ (September 2013), and given talks and presentations on story-making in relation to history and archaeology – including a paper to the Tyne-Forth Prehistory Forum at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012 entitled Ancestors’ Tales – retrieving memory from the landscape through oral storytelling. In 2011 he also released an album of traditional folk songs, Rogues and Ravens – songs of love and death.

Cultural and Creative Strategy Review

David has been actively involved in contributing to B&NES Council’s review of its cultural and creative strategy and in working to help set up a new strategic and operational framework to support the future development of the cultural and creative sector in the area. B&NES’s Cultural and Creative Strategy Review 2015-2010: Cultural Life, Creative Work (April 2015) refers to the Council’s wish to enhance economic and social benefits through continued investment in the cultural and creative sector. Central to the success of this aspiration will be putting in place a new Cultural and Creative Investment Board, to identify strategic priorities and possibilities for investment. Also crucial will be implementing closer collaborative working between the Cultural Form, Creative Bath and The Guild Coworking Hub, which is involving the creation of a new community interest company (Creative & Cultural Bath CIC) to be supported by B&NES Council’s Economy and Culture Team. David will be talking about recent progress on these initiatives and how he hopes the arrangements will work to benefit cultural sector organisations, their audiences and participants in the area’s rich cultural and creative life.


CFBAThe Cultural Forum for the Bath Area

The Cultural Forum for the Bath Area (CBFA) is an independent membership organisation which champions the role and value of the arts, culture and heritage in the life our communities.

We started in 2008 as an informal grouping in Bath and have grown in size and ambition.  We are now a Community Interest Company (CIC) with over 90 member organisations and individuals, not only from Bath & North East Somerset, but also surrounding areas in Wiltshire and Somerset.  Members range from large professional organisations with international reputations to local community and amateur groups.

We take a wide definition of the word ‘culture’, with members’ activities including the performing and visual arts, built and natural heritage, museums and galleries, literature and poetry, education and training.