Creative People and Places Fund

Grant Sources

Funding is available to projects that encourage collaboration between local communities, arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities.

Maximum value:  £1,000,000

Objectives of Fund

Funding is available for local consortiums to help get local people involved in the arts across parts of England where arts involvement is considerably below the national average.

The programme aims to empower people to experiment with new and innovative approaches to develop inspiring, sustainable arts programmes that will engage audiences in these communities.

Arts Council England’s vision for Creative people and places is as follows:

  • More people from places of least engagement experience and are inspired by the arts.
  • Communities are empowered to take the lead in shaping local arts provision.
  • The aspiration for excellence is central to the activity they will support –excellence of art and excellence of the process of engaging communities.
  • Learn from the past but create the environment where the arts and cultural sector can experiment with new approaches to engaging communities.
  • Learn more about how to establish sustainable arts and cultural opportunities and this learning is freely available across the cultural sector.
  • Encourage partnerships across the subsidised, amateur and commercial sectors.
  • Through these projects they demonstrate the power of the arts to enrich the lives of individuals and make positive changes in communities.

Previous Success

Round Three Successful Applicants

  • Grant recipient: Rifco Arts leading for Slough – Grant offer: £625,000

Rifco Arts will develop a consortium who will produce diverse, dynamic and distinctive artistic approaches, opportunities and experiences to excite, entertain and enable participation and engagement in the arts in Slough. Partners include YES Your Engagement Slough, Creative Junction CIC, Aik Saath, Resource Productions, SWIPE and Slough Borough Council.

  • Grant recipient: Luton Culture for Luton – Grant offer: £686,531

Bring Me Sunshine is a springboard for Luton to develop into a dynamic and diverse town with exceptional creativity and innovation. Creative Community Forums will be recruited through Luton’s well-established Neighbourhood Governance Networks alongside artists and creative producers. With the support of Creative Leaders and Creative Hub made up of artists and creative industries. And drawing on best practice from Critical Friends. These networks will introduce inspirational activity across artforms and challenge preconceptions about what the arts can be.

  • Grant recipient: Arts Development East Cambridge for Fenland – Grant offer: £964,218

Market Place will connect seven market towns across Forest Heath and Fenland through the development of a strong, confident and ambitious arts community. Community groups, cultural leaders and artists will form Market Place Traders groups in each town to develop ambitious programmes across the voluntary, professional and commercial sectors. Local leaders will feed into a national dialogue around ‘missing markets’ and ways to change the arts ecology in places with limited arts infrastructure.

Round Two Successful Applicants


  • Grant recipient: Peterborough Culture and Leisure
    Other consortium members: Creative Peterborough, Metal, Young Lives, Step Up, Voluntary Arts England and Vivacity


  • Grant recipient: Watermans
    Other consortium members: Feltham Arts Association, Hounslow Music Service, Hounslow Community Network, TW4 Community Development Trust, John Laing Integrated Services and LB Hounslow

East Midlands

  • Grant recipient: Creswell Heritage Trust
    Other consortium members: The Prince’s Trust, Junction Arts, City Arts (Nottingham), and community representatives from the Bolsover Partnership and NAVO
  • Grant recipient: Groundwork, Corby, North Northamptonshire
    Other consortium members:Corby Cube Theatre Trust, Corby Community Arts, Corby Unity, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

West Midlands

  • Grant recipient: Black Country Together CIC
    Other consortium members: Black Country Councils of Voluntary Service (CVS), Multi-story and Black Country Touring

North East

  • Grant recipient: Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
    Other consortium members: East Durham Trust and Forma Arts and Media
  • Grant recipient: University Of Sunderland
    Other consortium members: Customs House and the Music and Culture Trust

North West

  • Grant recipient: Canal & River Trust
    Other consortium members: Groundwork Pennine Lancashire Trust, APPL (Arts Partners in Pennine Lancashire) and Barnfield Construction Limited
  • Grant recipient:Saints Community Development Foundation
    Other consortium members: Helena Partnerships, FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology), St Helens Council and St Helens Arts Partnership


  • Grant recipient:Artlink, Hull
    Other consortium members: Hull Truck Theatre, Volcom, Kingston upon Hull City Council, and Hull and East Yorkshire Community Foundation
  • Grant recipient:Lawrence Batley Theatre
    Other consortium members: We Do (formerly Open Art), Batley Festival Group and Kirklees Council

Value Notes

It is anticipated that the majority of proposals will be for between £500,000 and £1 million over three years.

Around four to six applications are expected to be funded.

Match Funding Restrictions

It is expected that at least 25% of total project costs should come from other sources. This can also be in kind.

Who Can Apply

Current grant recipients of the programme are eligible to apply.

Applicantions will only be accepted from organisations working as a consortium. The current lead organisation must submit the application. The consortium must include at least one arts organisation and one local grass roots community organisation. For the purposes of this programme, a grass roots community organisation is a non-arts, volunteer-led organisation.

Activities must start no earlier than 1 January 2018 and no later than 31 December 2018. Activities must end no later than 31 December 2021.


The following are ineligible for funding:

  • Individuals or organisations not currently the grant recipient for Creative people and places.
  • Partner organisations involved in Creative people and places where they are not (at the time of this application) the lead grant recipient.
  • Existing grant recipients for Creative people and places where, at the time of this application, the current activity is scheduled to finish after 31 December 2018.
  • Local authorities may not be the grant holder for this programme, though they may be named as formal partners.
  • Activities that are not related to the arts.
  • Activities that do not benefit or engage people in England (in the short or long term) or that do not help artists and arts organisations in England to carry out their work.
  • Support for endowment funds or any significant capital costs. In that event, no more than 10% of the grant may be allocated towards eligible capital costs (equipment etc).
  • Activities (including buying goods or services) that have started, been bought, ordered or contracted before a decision has been made about the application.
  • Costs that are already paid for by other income including the applicant’s own funds or any other funding.

Eligible Expenditure

Proposals should include/demonstrate:

  • Progress against the business plan for the current activity and in particular:
    • more people engaging in the arts (as audiences and participants)
    • excellence and quality of arts experiences and approaches to reaching/engaging the public o learning and the contribution of any insights made to the wider cultural sector
    • sustainability – the trajectory that the activity is on with a view to being sustainable after this investment and convincing plans for continued earned income beyond the period of the grant
    • effective governance and management o evidence of the aims of Creative people and places in your approach to date (eg community empowerment in decision making)
    • effective partnership working
  • Audience and participant development and engagement plans in relation to this new funding. If successful, applicants will be asked to submit a detailed audience/participant development and engagement plan for approval as a condition of their first payment.
  • Plans for ensuring a strong community voice and community empowerment in relation to decision making.
  • Plans to ensure the programme of activity is inclusive of communities needs and as reflective of the local demographics as possible. If successful applicants will be asked to submit an equality action plan for approval as a condition of their first payment.
  • Plans to work with the existing arts and cultural infrastructure in your place or within reach of your place.
  • Details of proposed activity that applicants believe will help the wider cultural sector to gain new insight into approaches to widening audiences and cultural engagement.
  • Outcomes, including the potential impact of applicants proposed activity for the people in the eligible place/s including:
    • approximately how many more people applicants hope will become regularly engaged as arts attenders or participants in years one, two and three of this new funding period (2016 onwards).
    • a description of any activity and its potential impact or learning opportunities which will relate to Arts Council England’s definition of diversity: their definition of diversity encompasses responding to issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, age, gender, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage and any social and institutional barriers that prevent people from creating, participating or enjoying the arts
    • wider impacts eg on the national arts and culture sector or local infrastructure
  • Plans for monitoring and evaluating impact:
    • the three research questions for the existing research programme will be applied to this funding and applicants should describe how they will undertake their own place based evaluation to track impact against these. Applicants may wish to include details of plans to measure other secondary research questions
    • Applicants will complete quarterly monitoring forms and play a proactive role within the national evaluation programme and network
  • Plans to share learning with other Creative people and places grant recipients and the wider arts and cultural sector. This will include:
    • a commitment to be a proactive member of a national peer learning group
    • a commitment to submit case studies for inclunsion on CultureHive
    • any other plans to support this.

How To Apply

Link to guidelines:

Useful information:

Completed application forms should be submitted online via the Arts Council England application website.

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