Turning Point was conceived in 2006 as a 10-year strategy for the contemporary visual arts in England. The Turning Point Network (TPN) was funded as a pilot programme from 2008 to 2011, to test out a regionally based, sector-led approach to delivering positive change within the visual arts ecology. The aim was for visual arts sector to prosper and grow stronger through better partnership working and knowledge sharing. TPN now comprises 11 groups across 9 regions. The regional groups have evolved at different paces and developed varying structures; each regional group is defined by its own Terms of Reference and has its own model of governance.
An evaluation of the 3-year pilot programme highlights that impressive progress had been made towards joining-up the visual arts sector and fostering collaborative working. In 2011/12, there is now a need and an appetite to develop the TPN further. In a challenging financial climate, maintaining momentum and cultivating new, more efficient and collaborative models of working will be essential if the network is to continue to thrive and become more self-sustaining.
As part of this ongoing development of TPN, the role of National Coordination will be transferred in April 2011 from Arts Council England to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, who will carry responsibility for hosting and coordinating the next phase of the network's development.