We know there are parts of the country where people's involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average. We want to increase the likelihood of people taking part in the arts, irrespective of where they live or their social, educational or financial circumstances.

In addressing this priority we seek to increase attendance and participation by supporting the public to help shape local arts provision and by increasing choice and opportunities for people to experience and be inspired by the arts. We believe it can help improve the quality of life for individuals and their communities in many different ways.

The National portfolio organisations have been asked to consider the contribution they can make to reaching the least engaged as they develop their business plans. We will also use arts, museums and libraries strategic funding to invest in areas where attendance and participation levels are low.

We will also invest in a small number of places of greatest disadvantage to establish action research areas called 'creative people and places'. These will encourage long-term collaborations between arts organisations, museums, libraries, local authorities and local communities to develop the kind of inspiring, sustainable arts and cultural programmes that audiences in those communities want to get involved in.

Our wider cultural remit offers an opportunity for the arts to learn from the success of museums and libraries in reaching audiences that the arts find it difficult to reach and vice versa. We hope that what we learn through this targeted action research can be used in many other places to help increase attendance and participation in the arts and culture across the country.