Area Councils

We have five Area Councils, all of which play a crucial role in both local and national decision-making.

Members of our Area Councils are drawn from different roles across and beyond the arts and culture sector, and include practitioners, arts administrators and local authority representatives.  They contribute to the creation and implementation of the Arts Council strategy through contributing their expertise and grassroots knowledge of local developments and issues.

Each Area Council works to ensure that the Arts Council develops artistic talent and the arts and culture ecology in the area. Members also make sure that the Arts Council invests public money effectively, and they are collectively responsible for making decisions on applications to the National Portfolio.

More specifically, they:

  • make decisions on applications up to a certain threshold (currently £800,000 a year) to join the National Portfolio in their area and make recommendations to National Council on grants of over a certain threshold (currently £800,000 a year) to organisations applying to join the National portfolio
  • provide advice on the strategy and plans of the Arts Council
  • review the Arts Council’s performance and advise on the challenges and risks relating to the achievement of the Arts Council’s goals in the area

Read our Area Council terms of reference
Read our Code of Conduct for Area Council members

Meet the members of our Area councils

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Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Roll Over Beethoven at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Photo © Mark Sepple / Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2. Maudits Sonnants by Transe Express Company at Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender. 3. The Jubilee Sweetshop at Beamish. Photo © Beamish Museum. 4. New Wolsey Theatre's Feed the Beast by Steve Thompson. Photo © Patrick Baldwin / New Wolsey Theatre. 5. Nuffield Theatre's Merlin. Photograph © Luke MacGregor. 6. Arabic Calligraphy Workshop, Ilkley Literature Festival 2015. Photo © Paul Floyd Blake for Ikley Literature Festival. 7. Neon Dogs by Deepa Mann Kler, produced by Artichoke. Photo © Chris Hill / Artichoke. 8. Shailesh Bahoran and Sooraj Subramaniam of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance perform Material Men, commissioned by Southbank Centre. Photo © Chris Nash. 9. Newcastle City Library. Photo © Newcastle City Library / Mark Thurston / Steve Brock 10. David Glowacki's Hidden Fields. Photo © Paul Blakemore / Interactive Scientific Ltd 11. Reopening of Manchester Central Library, March 22nd 2014. Photo © Joel C. Fildes for Arts Council England 12. Reopening of Manchester Central Library, March 22nd 2014. Photo © Joel C. Fildes for Arts Council England.. 13. Jon Nash & Jim Crago, writers of Spice Box: a Barbican Theatre Plymouth production at The Elizabethan House. Photo © Gemma Ward Photographer / Barbican Theatre. 14. Hands. Photo © CP Photo Art / DigitalVision / Getty Images.