The five Area Councils were established in 2013 following the Norgrove review of our governance and they replaced the nine regional councils.

The Area Councils have been set up to:

  • help ensure that the executive spends public money against agreed strategy, in a way that the public can see, understand and accept
  • provide a forum for artists, arts and cultural organisations and other stakeholders to ensure their views are heard in the formulation of Arts Council England strategy and to share Arts Council England thinking with the sector
  • offer advice to National Council in terms of 'on-the-ground' knowledge of locally and nationally significant issues
  • advocate for the arts, culture and the Arts Council in the area and encourage artistic talent

More specifically they:

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

Meet the members of our five Area councils: