Applications to this fund are now closed. Read about the projects we have funded on our successful applicants page.  

The programme is one of the commissioned grants in our strategic funding programme.

We want more people to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live or their social, educational or financial circumstances.

The programme is one of the commissioned grants in our strategic funding programme.

Aims and objectives

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 will focus 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.

We will invest a total of £37 million in a small number of locations of greatest need to establish action research partnerships called Creative people and places. This investment will encourage long-term collaborations between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and other partners such as local authorities and the private sector. It aims to empower them to experiment with new and radically different approaches and to develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in those communities.

Excellence will be central to the activity we support and although funding can only be guaranteed for three years, we would like to see applications which carry a 10-year vision for these communities.

The first round Creative people and places consortia came together in Blackpool in October to discuss their plans, meet each other and to kick-off the peer learning programme.

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.

Our vision for Creative people and places funding

  • more people from places of least engagement experience and are inspired by the arts
  • 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
  • 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