Creative People and Places podcast transcript Laura: Arts Council ...

Creative People and Places podcast transcript Laura: Arts Council ...

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

bottom 20%.

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

site-specific work.

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 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.

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