The 2000s and beyond
As the Arts Council entered the next decade, it did so at a point of greater equilibrium and increased accountability. In 2002–3 The Arts Council of England and the 10 regional arts boards merged to form Arts Council England. The new organisation has nine regional offices and a national office, with regional boundaries following those of the Regional Development Agencies and many other national organisations.
Participation and excellence are equally valued in a position summed up by the motto, 'great art for everyone'. The DCMS measures audience numbers and makeup, but these indicators alone cannot judge artistic merit or the value of culture. They have been supplemented by peer review by artists and practitioners as recommended by the McMaster report, Supporting excellence in the arts – from measurement to judgement. Ongoing artistic assessment, sectoral reviews, and one-off appraisals of individual organisations are all tools to be used to create an Arts Council that best serves both audiences and artists.