Creative People and Places podcast transcript
Laura: Arts Council England is responsible for distributing money from the
government and lottery in the arts sector. The Creative People and Places fund is
one of our lottery funded programmes and is designed to help let people decide the
kinds of arts available in their community and give them an opportunity to take part
and enjoy the arts.
I’ll be asking David Gaffney, Relationship Manager for Regional Planning and Amalie
Roberts, Relationship Manager for Music Education Hubs about this programme and
how you can help shape the arts activity in your area.
So what is Creative People and Places?
Amalie: Creative People and Places is a programme which focusses on parts of the
country where there’s a particularly low level of local people being engaged or
involved in the arts. We want to develop arts opportunities for these people and
David: Yeah that’s right. We want to support the public in shaping this local arts
provision so what we want to do is use the Creative People and Places programme
to really find out what people want and how they want to engage in the arts, and
what sort of arts activity they might want to engage in. So this programme will allow
local communities and grassroots organisations to decide what arts provision they
want in their area, so we think it will involve people like arts organisations, museums,
the libraries (we’re really keen on involving because they’re right out in the centre of
lots of smaller communities).
We also think there might be scope for companies or retail organisations to get
involved. For example, one of the successful bids in round one was with the haulage
company, which is quite a surprise to us and put some funding in and are looking at
putting some visual art on the sides of their trucks and things like that.
We’re also interested in making sure that artists and performers are involved in the
programme and so that they can work together maybe with professional
organisations in longer term collaborations. I mean one of the criteria of the
programme is that the public have got to be involved at all levels, including some of
the decision making, so it might be that groups of the public and community actually
select some of the artists or select some of the organisations that they want to work
Amalie: I think it’s really important as well to mention that what we’re looking for
really is really quite radical and ambitious projects that demonstrate new approaches
to the arts because these are areas where people aren’t engaging, so obviously
something isn’t working. We want to really shake that up and really challenge that,
as David said, through partnerships with lots of different organisations. It’s important
to note that it’s a really highly competitive scheme, so only the very best proposals
are likely to be funded. It’s anticipated that maybe 15 areas nationally out of about 71
eligible areas are going to be funded and that’s over 3 years.
David: How these places have been selected is that there’s a survey called the
Active People survey and that’s a survey that asks people, basically asks them how
often and how regularly they take part in arts activities. That’s both watching art and
going to performances but also its actually taking part. You might go to dance
classes or you might take photographs or do creative writing. From that we then
looked at those areas in the country where participation was low. We looked at the
Laura: So which areas in the North West can apply for the funding?
David: In the North West, in the Greater Manchester area; Salford, Tameside,
Oldham, Rochdale, Wigan and Bolton. In the Merseyside area we’ve got Halton, St
Helens, Knowsley. In Lancashire there is Blackpool and Wyre (who were successful
in Round 1 of the process) and then in the rest of Lancashire there is Preston (in
central Lancashire). In Pennine Lancashire side we have Burnley, Blackburn with
Darwen, Pendle and Hyndburn. In Cumbria there’s one authority, which is on the
west coast which is eligible to apply, and that’s Copeland (that’s where Whitehaven
and Cleator Moor are).
Laura: How will individual communities benefit from this scheme?
Amalie: What we’re hoping is that this programme is going to transform
communities. It’s going to allow local people to develop and deliver the kinds of art
provision that their community wants to see and get involved in.
David: Yeah, that’s right. It is essential that the communities and the public are at
the heart of every proposal that we receive, so it’s a chance for them to have a real
say in what sort of arts provision that they’re going to have access to in their area.
Amalie: I think it’s going to be useful as well for people listening to have a look at the
successful applications from Round 1, because that really gives you a sense of what
it is that inspired the people of those local communities. For example, as David
mentioned, we had a successful application from Blackpool and Wyre Consortium,
which was awarded £3 million over the next 3 years to really transform Blackpool’s
identity, and it’s using its heritage for the benefit of local people, so the concept of
their proposal was Playground of Wonders, Daring Delights, which is going to enable
people to experience actually really high quality arts events and activities.
Laura: Who can apply for the Creative People and Places fund?
David: Well the scheme’s quite open – we’re looking for consortiums to represent
both the community to look at the grassroots and public aspect of it, and arts
organisations. We’re looking for people who’ve got really innovative and exciting
programmes that would attract new people to the arts. It’s not just about getting the
same people who engage all the time to engage more – it’s about new people
who’ve maybe not engaged before.
The applications must show that they’re really going to genuinely engage
communities and that they’re going to empower people to shape that provision and
deliver some brilliant arts experiences and involve a variety of different partners. I
mean, some examples of the sort of activities that applications could include would
be things like digital activity and use of new technologies and new media.
We think there might be a focus on non-formal arts spaces. We’re used to seeing art
in an art gallery or in a theatre. What we’re quite interested in Creative People and
Places is looking at spaces where art doesn’t normally pop up. It could be empty
shops, it might be libraries, community spaces and pop up galleries and things like
Amalie: So once you’ve got your group of organisations together representing both
community and arts organisations, you can apply for a programme of activity that, if
needs be, encompasses more than one of those 17 areas that David mentioned. So
where that makes sense, it might be that you’re geographically close together and
you could sort of come in on one bid.
The focus of the fund is arts activity. There’s a real emphasis on high quality arts
experience, but as applicants you will need to demonstrate how you’re going to work
across the arts and cultural sector, which does include museums and libraries. It’s
worth noting that museums and libraries are welcome to apply to deliver some of
these activities as long as they’re arts focussed.
Laura: Thank you David and Amalie. The deadline for applications is the 12
December and if you are interested in applying you should speak to a member of
staff at the Arts Council.
If you want to find out more, full details of the application process and observations
from the last round of funding can be found on our website - that is
www.artscouncil.org.uk or you can contact our Enquiries team, who will be able to
put you through to someone who can help, and their number is 0845 300 6200.
Thank you for listening.
This podcast is produced by Arts Council England.
For more content like this visit www.artscouncil.org.uk or