Supporting local art and culture

Local authorities are the biggest funders of arts and culture in England. Together we work in partnership to ensure culture is successful and sustainable. Faced by a challenging financial environment, many are responding with imaginative and innovative ideas about how they can continue their vital support for arts and culture.

The future: new speech and report

Find out more about the challenges facing local government funding for art and culture, and watch the speech from our Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette

Find out more
A group of young people perform in bright carnival costumes and purple and yellow headdresses
AAA4success Carnival Troupe representing Leicester Caribbean Carnival at EMCCAN Regional Carnival 2015. Photo © DenPhoto for EMCCAN - East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network

We work with local authorities up and down the country that share our mission to ensure that there are strong local cultural offers that make life better for people in all of our communities.

We know that the capacity for local government to support for art and culture is being challenged. Our priority is to work in partnership to sustain the local cultural infrastructure; sharing best practice to help authorities make best use of resources, or develop new business models. We will deploy our own funding in new ways which help lever in funds from elsewhere, and continue to create a better balance of spending between London and the rest of England.

On this page you can find resources that illustrate the significance and value of working in partnership at a local level. These include the latest speech from our Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette, which responds to the NLGN report: Funding Arts and Culture in a time of Austerity 

Find out more and explore our related funding programmes

An outdoor space viewed from above, as small crowds of people gather around benches.

Community and place

Explore our research and data on the impact of art and culture at a local level

A performer juggles a frying pan, an egg, and a burnt baguette as a crowd of people watch.

Cultural Destinations

Enabling arts and culture organisations to increase their reach by working with the tourism sector.

Latest news, case studies and blog posts

Little girl mid-jump and dancing with man

Men and girls dance together

London-based cross-artform company, Fevered Sleep discuss the motivation behind their piece, Men & Girls Dance.

Darren Henley is signing the Memorandum of Understanding whilst sat at a table.

Community engagement at heart of new MoU

Creative leadership, global research programmes and community engagement in East London received a boost on Monday (3 April 2017) as the Arts Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

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Top left to bottom right: 1. Hands. Photo © CP Photo Art / DigitalVision / Getty Images. 2. Bow Arts Open Studios '13. Photo © Ollie Harrop / Bow Arts Trust. 3. Opera North's Festive Fanfare 2015 in Liverpool. Photo © Opera North 4. Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender. 5. Tangle Company 2013. Photo © Tangle 6. Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender 7. Man doing pottery 8. No Boundaries 2017. Photo © No Boundaries. 9. Liverpool Library on National Libraries Day 2016 © Graham Lucas Commons 10. No Credit Displaying 11. Little girl mid-jump and dancing with man 12. Darren Henley signs the Memorandum of Understanding with Queen Mary University of London. Photo: Gary Schwartz. 13. Flex Dance performance. Photo © TIN Arts 14. Plymouth Music Zone participants making music. Photo © Plymouth Music Zone / Kevin Clifford 15. Grass Men Bristol Biennial 2014. Photo © Ashley Peevor 16. Scattered by Motionhouse. Photo © Chris Nash / Motionhouse 17. Knowledge is Beautiful (cc) Creative Commons - informationisbeautiful.net