The National Rural Touring Forum exists to work strategically with partners to develop work and deliver high quality art experiences that strengthen rural and other communities. The function of the Forum is to represent the interests of rural and other community touring schemes across the country.
NRTF has come a long way since 1981:
- In 1981 the first schemes started in Hampshire, Lincolnshire and South East Wales. The movement has now grown to around 37 schemes.
- From 1997 - 2000 NRTF headed up and administered a successful 3 year A4E lottery programme.
- In 2000 the NRTF commissioned Peter Boyden Associates to produce a Market Assessment and Business Plan.
- From 2000 - 2003 NRTF worked with a grant from the Regional Arts Lottery Programme for organisational development.
- In 2004 NRTF produced a new business plan and has become a Regularly Funded Organisation of the Arts Council England.
- In 2011 NRTF produced a new business plan and has become one of the Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations along with the majority of its Touring Scheme Members.
In 2015 NRTF revised its business plan and was successful in a second application to become one of ACE National Portfolio Organisations taking the organisation through to 2018.
While the members of NRTF reach many parts of the country, the NRTF itself remains a small organisation with the following aims:
1. Provide the rural touring network with training, information and networking services
2. Enable innovative work, international partnerships and commissions
3. Promote better understanding of the value of rural and community touring through research and advocacy
- In 2012/13 Forum members organised over 3,700 individual live events.
There were over 2,400 community groups promoting events throughout rural Britain in 2012/13
- These events attracted well over 300,000 people, many of whom rarely visit established arts venues