South West

Hand drawn iIllustration by Supermundane with lots of intricate lines and patterns

The South West is a region of contrasts, with a long history of producing world-class artists and cultural organisations, known for the strength of its theatre-making, for its artists and craftmakers, for leading digital and creative media practice and for the dazzling explosion of carnival and outdoor art each year.  

There is a vibrant year-long programme of art and culture that ranges from large-scale outdoor festivals to small neighbourhood projects, from theatres, producers and galleries with international reputations to those working with their local communities or behind the scenes to develop the talent of the future.

The South West is home to 80 National Portfolio Organisations, including one Bridge organisation, with an investment of £59.6 million. The South West has three Major Partner Museums with an investment of £9.3 million. Total 2015–18 investment in these programmes in the South West is £69.1 million. We also invest in artists and art organisations in the South West through Grants for the Arts, our open access funding programme for arts activities.

A man-made mechanical spider stands over a crowd.
Metamorphosis, Arcadia Bristol. Photo © Paul Box.

Find out more on future plans for development in the South West in our corporate plan

Do you want to contact us or find out where our offices are? Take a look.

Do you have a media query? Contact our South West Communications team.

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Explore our work in the South West

Mary Rose reopens

Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth will use investment from the Arts Council to digitise its archaeological archive.

American dance tour

Dance Consortium is bringing one of Americas’ most popular dance companies to cities across England.

Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Grass Men Bristol Biennial 2014. Photo © Ashley Peevor 2. Gecko Theatre: Institute. Photo © Richard Haughton 3. Nuffield Theatre's Merlin. Photograph © Luke MacGregor. 4. The Man Engine, pre-reveal. Image courtesy of Golden Tree Productions. 5. Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Image © Gareth Gardner 6. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo © Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater /Andrew Eccles. 7. Cosmos by Semiconductor as part of Jerwood Open Forest. Image © Laura Hodgson. 8. Shoreline / Simon Birch Dance / SALT 2016 /Dancer Anthony Middleton Photographer Steve Tanner 9. The Trench. Image courtesy of Collective Arts. 10. Carl Au in Bright Phoenix by Jeff Young at Liverpool Everyman. Photo © Jonathan Keenan for Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. 11. Sampad South Asian Arts perform at the Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender. 12. Public Address: The Soapbox Tour. Photo © Suzi Corker Photography / Apples and Snakes. 13. Hofesh Schecter rehearsal at UDance. Photo © Brian Slater. 14. Dot, Squiggle and Rest at Polka Theatre with Royal Opera House. Photo © Robert Workman / Polka Theatre.