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.  Or download a handout on how to access our office.

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

Find out more

Explore our work in the South West

Lenny Henry and cast members of Rudy's Rare Records appear on stage.

£4.6 million to help diversity flourish

We’re investing £4.6 million to help embed diversity within England’s arts and cultural sector, from its senior leadership to the artistic work being produced.

The Grinning Man premiere

A character who was the inspiration for Batman’s ‘The Joker’ has been turned into a musical theatre star in a new production premiering at Bristol Old Vic this week as part of their 250th anniversary season.

Arts Council England logo in purple.

New appointments to Area Councils

Arts Council England has announced new appointments to three of the five Area Councils, which play a crucial role in both local and national decision-making.

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. Birmingham Repertory Theatre's production Rudy's Rare Records. Photo © Robert Day for Birmingham Repertory Theatre. 5. Stylised seahorse with filigree decoration. Photo: David Rowan (c) Birmingham Museums Trust 6. Louis Maskell as Grinpayne in The Grinning Man Photo Seamus Ryan 7. Jesse Wine The Whole Vibe of Everything, 2015 (c) Artist Courtesy the artist and Limoncello Gallery 8. Arts Council England logo. Photo © Arts Council England. 9. Earth Echoes: A Song of Stones’ - Torbay’s GeoCollective and community cast perform with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Opening Ceremony of GGN2016. Photographer: Jayne West 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.