New funding available for 2016 - applications to existing Creative people and places consortia open now.

Find out more about the projects, their impact and read the blog on the Creative People and Places site.

About the fund

The Arts Council wants more people to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live, or their social, educational or financial circumstances.

The Creative people and places fund focuses our investment in parts of the country where people's involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average, with the aim of increasing the likelihood of participation.

Evidence demonstrates that some communities are engaging very little with the arts. This may be through lack of opportunities to attend and participate or because of barriers like socio-economic factors, physical accessibility, or a limited offer. We believe that everyone has the right to access the arts and we want to transform the opportunities open to people in these places.

We have invested a total of £37 million in a small number of locations of greatest need to establish action research partnerships. This investment is encouraging long-term collaborations between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and other partners including local authorities and the private sector.

It is empowering them to experiment with new and radically different approaches and to develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in those communities.

Our vision for Creative people and places is to support the public in shaping local arts provision and, in so doing, to increase attendance and participation in excellent art, and existing Creative people and places consortia are working to a 10-year vision to achieve this.

This new funding will allow a selection of the places currently in receipt of Creative people and places funding to build on achievements made possible through the current fund and to continue to develop approaches that support learning across the wider arts and culture sector. This will enable new outcomes over and above those supported as part of the original funding.


The central aims of the fund are:

  • more people from places of least engagement experience and are inspired by the arts and become regularly engaged as audiences or participants
  • communities are empowered to take the lead in shaping local arts provision
  • the aspiration for excellence is central to the activity we will support – this covers both excellence of art and excellence of the process of engaging communities 

In addition:

  • we will learn from past experiences and create an environment where the arts and cultural sector can experiment with new approaches to engaging communities
  • we will learn more about how to establish sustainable arts and cultural opportunities and make this learning freely available across the cultural sector
  • we will encourage partnerships across the subsidised, amateur and commercial sectors
  • through these projects we will demonstrate the power of the arts to enrich the lives of individuals and make positive changes in communities
  • activity will be radically different from what has happened before in that place prior to your original Creative people and places programme.
  • we will maximise opportunities for collaborations across museums and libraries where possible
  • we will maximise digital opportunities for the public to experience art where possible

Case study

John McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales gave an inspiring keynote speech on how he has been working to bring theatre of the highest quality to the widest possible range of people across Wales. You can listen to an extract of his speech below, or download the podcast here.

Read a transcript of the speech in Word or PDF.