The arts after Brexit


Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy (TFCC) is a leading international consultancy for the cultural economy, offering strategy and policy leadership across the creative, cultural and arts sectors. Through research, evaluation, collaboration and advocacy, the company offers technical expertise, strategic thinking and the tools to position culture and creativity to the heart of society.

As a key strategic consultancy and research organisation in intercultural relations, TFCC wanted to have a better understanding on how Brexit – the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – would change the creative and cultural sector. Until 2020, the EU was a vital organ of solidarity and investment across the cultural system of the UK, therefore Brexit anticipated the need for the sector to adapt to a new context.

This project aimed to offer new insights on intercultural relations across Europe and how partners might react to the ever-changing situation as negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship were ongoing. 


This research aimed to collect qualitative data on the existing knowledge about the impact of Brexit on the UK cultural sector, review strategies that institutions had already implemented and to make policy recommendations for the sector.

The project included a preliminary scoping exercise, based on policy analysis of existing reports and practices, followed by interviews of key stakeholders, such as government agencies, national galleries, foreign cultural institutes based in the UK (e.g. the Goethe Institute, the Institut Francais etc) and European agencies in charge of cultural relations among EU member states.


The research was one of the first to address the consequences of Brexit for the UK cultural sector. It proved that cultural relations between the UK and EU member states benefitted communities in the UK and Europe. It highlighted important questions that institutions should engage with when planning for the period after the end of the transition period, and simultaneously made suggestions of good practice and policy recommendation.  

The report has highlighted the community benefits of inclusive strategies and audience participation, when arts organisations decide to address questions on difficult topics (including politics).

Research lead 

Dr. Charlotte Faucher, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in History (University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)

See more on this project

Collaboration Labs Case Study – University of Manchester

Arts After Brexit study warns of two-year cultural hiatus in UK
The Guardian, 17 November 2020

Brexit could cause two-year cultural hiatus
Arts Professional, 19 November 2020

Le Brexit appauvrira les échanges et la diversité des productions
Le Soir, 26 November 2020

Back to the 1930s? After Brexit the UK arts sector is longing for links with countries in continental Europe
History & Policy, 26 March 2021

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