Activities likely to be open to a larger number of organisations (‘Open access funds’)

We will continue to support strategic touring activity, particularly in places which rely upon touring for much of their arts provision. During 2014 we will be reviewing the scope of the current strategic touring fund to ensure that it continues to address gaps in current touring provision and helps great art reach as many people as possible. We will also support organisations from Wales, Ireland and Scotland to tour England and vice versa (‘cross border touring’). 

Building on learning from the existing Creative People and Places programme, we will continue to support communities where involvement in the arts is currently below the national average, aiming to increase the numbers of people attending and participating.

Alongside this major programme, we will also look at how we might target funding for particular groups of people, learning from our Arts and older people partnership with the Baring Foundation. 

We will identify funding specifically to support talent and ambition across England.  In particular we anticipate this fund will support exceptional ideas and allow organisations to respond to one-off opportunities. We also envisage this fund would support new developments in outdoor arts.

We will support work that ensures the best of our artists and cultural organisations are working regularly overseas, and that the best of international arts and culture is being enjoyed by audiences here.

We also expect to develop digital infrastructure for the arts and culture sector, funding activities such as digitising of collections, screens on stage, and collaborative digital marketing and customer relationship management systems. We will also fund initiatives that aim to make creative media content from the publically-funded arts and culture sector available digitally to audiences and consumers. As part of this, we expect to fund The Space, a live, free and on-demand service that means audiences can experience a wide range of arts digitally.

Funding likely to be relevant to only a smaller group of applicants (‘Targeted commissioned grants’)

Management, care and programming of the four Arts Council collections (film, poetry, music archive and artworks) will be funded during 2015-18. This will support the development and management, care and programming of these collections, as well as supporting new models for management and distribution.

We will support Hull, the UK’s Capital of Culture for 2017, to realise the ambitions set out in its bid.

Our Audience focus programme will continue, helping organisations understand, retain and grow their audiences.

Strategic funds will also be allocated to programmes that support arts and culture organisations to deliver the Creative Case – including a further round of Unlimited commissions, activities to build on the legacy of decibel and Sustained Theatre, and a cohort of Agents for Change who will work within national portfolio organisations as development officers focusing on the least served protected characteristics.

Support for the development of artistic talent is a key priority for the Arts Council.  Strategic funds for talent will aim to develop coherent national approaches to the development of artistic talent.