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.

What is the Creative People and Places network?

Creative People and Places (CPP) network is the community of 21 CPP Places (increasing to 30 at the end of 2019). The network's peer learning and communications activity is supported by a grant from Arts Council England to Museums Northumberland, the lead body for bait, the CPP project in South East Northumberland.

Places are supported by a network of their peers and are learning 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, engagement, artistic practice, cultural ecologies. We also have an online networking platform, 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. In 2018 we commissioned two studies, one exploring artistic practice and another looking at cultural ecologies. In 2019 we are commissioning a study exploring leadership approaches in CPP network.

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 last conference was in June 2018 and in 2019 we held a series of events. Our next conference will be in 2020/21.

For further information about the national peer learning programme contact Amanda Smethurst at amanda@creativepeopleplaces.org.uk

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 initially 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 announced another £5m to support existing projects with new activity for a further three years  (2018-2021)

In August 2019 Arts Council England announced £17.5m investment from the National Lottery in 9 new Places.

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

Each of the 30 projects must also secure income from other sources.

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

No. Places have joined the programme in different 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. Places have also secured further Arts Council funding for further three-year phase of delivery so they can work towards their ten-year visions. In 2019 Arts Council England announced a further 12 Places will join the network

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.

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 Museums Northumberland, the lead body for Museums Northumberland bait, the CPP project in South East Northumberland.

Places are supported by a network of their peers and are learning 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, engagement, artistic practice, cultural ecologies. We also have an online networking platform, 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. In 2018 we commissioned two studies, one exploring artistic practice and another looking at cultural ecologies. In 2019 we are commissioning a study exploring leadership approaches in CPP network.

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 last conference was in June 2018 and in 2019 we held a series of events. Our next conference will be in 2020/21.

For further information about the national peer learning programme contact Amanda Smethurst at amanda@creativepeopleplaces.org.uk

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

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

As part of Arts Council England's national evaluation, audience profiling and mapping is undertaken annually by The Audience Agency. 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.  In 2019 Arts Council England opened the programme to new applications again and 12 new Places will join the network in autumn 2019. In early 2020 Arts Council England will open a further round of applications.

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 current 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.

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 Museums Northumberland, which is also the lead body for Museums Northumberland 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 autumn 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.

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