Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please head over to our contact page and get in touch. For funding enquiries contact Arts Council England on 0161 934 4317.

Where is my nearest Creative People and Places project?

Visit Our Projects. You can view the projects on a map, find their contact details and discover lots more information about their programme.

How is Creative People and Places funded?

Arts Council England developed the Creative People and Places programme and invested £37m from the National Lottery in 21 projects.

  • In 2015 it invested a further £5m to support six existing projects with new activity over a second three-year period (2016-2019)
  • In 2016 it invested a further £6m to support a further seven existing projects with new activity over a second three-year period (2017-2020)
  • In October 2017 the Arts Council will announce another £5m to support existing projects with new activity for a further three years  (2018-2021)

You can read more about the Arts Council’s funding to CPP projects on its website.  

Each of the 21 projects must also secure income from other sources.

Are the 21 places all at the same stage of programme delivery?

No. Places joined the programme in three rounds. The first round of places were confirmed in June 2012, the second in May 2013 and the third in May 2014. This means that different places are at different stages of delivery. Many of the places have also secured further Arts Council funding for a second three-year phase of delivery. See previous FAQ for details.

How are you evaluating Creative People and Places?

Each of the 21 places is undertaking a local evaluation. In addition there is a national evaluation programme that draws on the monitoring data and evaluations generated locally.

The national evaluation is driven by three questions:

  1. Are more people from places of least engagement experiencing and inspired by the arts?
  2. To what extent was the aspiration for excellence of art and excellence of the process of engaging communities achieved?
  3. Which approaches were successful and what were lessons learned?

National evaluation programme 2014-2016
The national evaluation for the first three years was managed by A New Direction. Research agency Ecorys drew on the local evaluations and monitoring data from the 21 places to create a meta-evaluation of national outcomes, outputs and lessons learnt, as well as a set of case studies

The first phase of national evaluation also included:

  • thematic studies by independent researchers exploring emergent themes including consortium working, excellence, power and shared decision-making
  • annual audience mapping and profiling to better understand the audiences that the programme reaches nationally
  • More Than 100 Stories - a creative commission capturing and reflecting on the journey of the 21 places
  • three conferences - the first two were aimed at CPP projects, the third People, Place, Power was open to all and took place in September 2016

National evaluation programme 2017-2019
The evaluation for the second three-year phase is being managed by Arts Council England, working with research agency Icarus. Icarus will work closely with the 21 places to shape the evaluation and will produce:

  • Evaluation report – summary of the evidence with analysis
  • Insights report – what this means for CPP and wider practice
  • Interim stage and final stage reports
  • Quarterly collation

Arts Council England will continue to commission annual audience mapping and profiling from The Audience Agency to understand who CPP is reaching.

In addition, the CPP network peer learning programme will also commission discrete pieces of thematic research to explore emerging themes and share learning amongst CPP Places and the wider sector.

There is a National Evaluation Advisory Group made up of representatives from CPP places and Arts Council England.

You can access our evaluation and learning resources here

How do the 21 places share learning with one another?

We have a strong peer learning ethos and national peer learning programme. Funded by Arts Council England, the national peer learning programme is managed by Woodhorn Charitable Trust, the lead body for bait, the CPP project in South East Northumberland.

Places are supported by a network of their peers and are learning much from one another by openly sharing successes and challenges, supporting one another to problem solve, and by collaborating on projects.

Places come together for themed gatherings, which they shape and lead. For example there have been events around artistic quality, marketing, talent development, social capital and engagement. We also have an online forum, which places use to share resources, ask questions and problem-solve.

Between 2017-2019 the national peer learning programme will commission studies to explore emerging themes from the work of Creative People and Places and share this learning with each other and the wider sector. In 2017 we commissioned two studies: one looking at social capital and another mapping the different approaches to engagement across the programme.

Regional clusters of places are forming to share roles and commission work jointly, and later rounds of newer places are saving considerable time and resources by learning from what’s already been learnt.

We also host national conferences where we share learning with each other and the wider sector. Our next conference will be in June 2018. Details to be announced soon.

For further information about the national peer learning programme contact Amanda Smethurst at

How do you know whether the programme is reaching people that are new to the arts?

Creative People and Places is successfully reaching more people from places of least engagement.

As part of the national evaluation, audience profiling and mapping is undertaken annually by The Audience Agency. Our audience profiling data over the first three years of the programme shows us that 91% of our audience come from audience segments with low or medium engagement in the arts (using Audience Spectrum profiling).

These segments make up 77% of the English population so medium and lower engaged segments are over-represented in our audiences. This over-representation is largely down to strong over-representation of the lower engaged segments, which accounted for 48% of CPP participants and 36% of the population.

You can access the report here 

Find out more information about Audience Spectrum segments on The Audience Agency website.

How do places become part of the Creative People and Places programme?

Applications to the programme are currently closed. The Arts Council has an aspiration to open the programme to new places in the future.

In earlier application rounds, only places which appeared in the bottom 20% of adult arts participation (according to the Active People Survey) were able to apply for funding.

Places were required to apply to the programme as a consortium – working together as a group to apply for the grant, oversee development plans and, if successful, deliver the programme.

Consortiums were to include around five organisations including a local community organisation and an arts organisation, with one organisation designated as the lead partner. Local authorities could not be the lead partner.

Consortium partners of the 21 places are diverse and include a university, housing association, voluntary sector councils, Local authority public health , Canal & River Trust, arts organisations and venues, museums and visitor attractions.

What happens to the programme beyond the initial funding period?

When applying to the Creative People Places (CPP) programme, places outlined a ten year vision for their place. Places have been identifying different models to sustain activity and momentum beyond the initial three-year funding phases.

Arts Council England has extended the current programme with an additional three years of investment for current projects who are successful in their application for further funding. Consortia could apply for between £500,000 and £1,000,000 over three years; 25% of the total cost of the activity had to stem from other sources including ticket sales and donations.  

This new investment of £5m in 2015, £6m in 2016 and £5m in 2017 is for places to build on their achievements and enable new outcomes over and above those supported as part of the original funding.

  • In 2015 six places were awarded funding for activity that will take place between 2016-2019: bait, Right Up Our Street, LeftCoast, Creative Barking and Dagenham, Transported and Appetite.
  • In 2016 seven places were awarded funding for activity that will take place between 2017-2020: Ideas Test, Creative Scene, Peterborough Presents, Heart of Glass, Cultural Spring, East Durham Creates and Made in Corby.
  • In October 2017 Arts Council England will announce the outcome of the latest round of applications for activity that will take place between 2018-2021.

How is the Creative People and Places programme managed?

Each of the 21 Places is managed by an independent consortium of organisations. The consortium members for each Place are listed in the Our Projects section of our site.

The National Peer Learning and Communications Programme is funded by Arts Council England and is managed by Woodhorn Charitable Trust, which is also the lead body for bait, the CPP project for South East Northumberland.

There are two freelance roles responsible for delivering the programme – the National Peer Learning Manager (1 day a week) and the National Communications Manager (2 days a week).

The first phase of National Peer Learning and Communications was delivered between 2013 and 2016 and the second phase will be delivered from 2017 to summer 2019.

National Peer Learning and Communications activity is steered by an advisory group made up of representatives from CPP Places and one representative from Arts Council England.

The National Evaluation Programme is managed by Arts Council England working with research agency Icarus. There is a National Evaluation Advisory Group made up of representatives from CPP places and Arts Council England.

What is the More Than 100 Stories commission?

In the first phase of the national evaluation programme we commissioned two artists - Sarah Butler and Nicole Mollett - to respond to Creative People and Places, to explore what had worked and what had not and to find a way to capture its impact on individuals, communities and places.

The result was More Than 100 Stories, a digital collection of texts, images, sounds and animations responding to the stories and learning of Creative People and Places.

The collection is built around ten key themes: confidence, decision-making, failure, language, local, partnership, people, taste, time and trust.

You can also visit the artists’ blog to read their thoughts and reflections throughout the research process.

Explore More Than 100 Stories here