£20 million Great Place Scheme kicks off

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ACE/HLF announce pilot projects for cultural investment


Details of the pilot projects of the £20 million Great Place Scheme – designed to spur cultural investment in areas which have traditionally had less participation in the arts -  have just been announced.


Sixteen successful bids have been accepted, including:

Barnsley and Rotherham - £1,264,000

Funding will allow the boroughs to work with deprived communities who were hit hard by the decline in traditional industries, increasing engagement culture, tackling social issues and using heritage stories to reignite a sense of local pride and ambition. 

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft - £737,900

A ‘cultural reimagining’ of the two seaside towns will build on recent National Lottery investment, including the HLF-funded Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth.  Funding will support the creation of a local cultural strategy, increase cultural education for children and young people to inspire a strong sense of place and local pride, and allow the local authority to attract visitors, using arts and heritage to drive economic growth. 


Gloucester- £1,489,200

National Lottery funding for Gloucester has improved parts of the town centre and paid for major work to the Cathedral.  The City Council now has a vision to transform how historic buildings and outdoor spaces are used and viewed by local people, supporting those who live, work and play in the city to follow their cultural interests, passions and vocations.  The aim is to devolve custodianship of culture from the city council to a new, diverse and active Gloucester Culture Trust. 


Walthamstow - £1,355,600


National Lottery funding for projects including the William Morris Gallery, local parks and a new wetlands habitat, means the local authority wants to finish the by celebrating and deepening understanding of the unique local heritage and cultural diversity. Putting arts and heritage at the heart of regeneration schemes and supporting local skills to enhance employment will give current and future residents a better quality of life.


The 16 pilot areas will now be carrying out a range of activities, including


Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund Ros Kerslake said:

“The Great Place Scheme is something new and really quite radical.  The aim is to bring together National Lottery investment and local ambition, to make a difference to people across entire communities.  It’s a bold plan and I am looking forward to seeing some innovative and exciting results from these 16 pilot projects.”

Arts Council England Chief Executive Darren Henley said:

“This new investment will make a big difference to people in areas where there's a genuine commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage in everyday life. The Great Place Scheme will enrich towns and cities across the country, delivering real economic and social benefits."


Twelve other projects with funding announced today are:


The Great Place Scheme, is initially being piloted in 16 locations across England. HLF expects to open the Scheme in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during 2017.


Funding comes from HLF and Arts Council England, each of which are contributing £10m for projects lasting up to three years.  The scheme aims to ensure that the considerable investment in culture made by organisations like the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England has the maximum positive impact on jobs, economic performance, educational attainment, community cohesion and health and wellbeing; and to enable ambitious civic organisations and local businesses and communities to invest in and put culture at the heart of their thinking.




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