HLF and ACE have both contributed £10m each in the pilot Great Place Scheme, which will benefit 16 places across England to put arts and culture at the heart of their communities. Towns, cities and rural areas across England will put culture at the heart of their residents’ future prosperity thanks to the National Lottery.

The pilot Great Place Scheme – one of the flagship measures from the Government’s Culture White Paper – has two central aims:

To ensure the considerable investment in culture made by organisations like HLF and Arts Council England has maximum positive impact on jobs, economic performance, educational attainment, community cohesion and health and wellbeing

To enable ambitious civic organisations and local businesses and communities to invest in and put culture at the heart of their thinking

“The Great Place Scheme is something new and really quite radical,” said Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF. “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.”

All the projects (which can be seen in more detail here) have high ambitions for their local areas and they plan to:

  • Explore new ways to include arts, culture and heritage in the provision of local education and health services
  • Research the contribution made by arts, culture and heritage to local economies
  • Pilot new ways of financing cultural organisations
  • Develop local strategies that maximise the community benefit of local arts, culture and heritage
  • Help people working in arts, culture and heritage to build networks and increase their skills

The Great Place Scheme is a joint initiative by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England, using funds raised from the National Lottery.

Coventry City of Culture Trust, for example, has been awarded £1,489,200 for its Place, heritage and diversity in a modern UK city project and will use this investment to build on its current partnerships across the city. The three-year programme of activities and events will see culture embedded in all its plans, from jobs and growth to tourism, making Coventry a great place to live, visit and study. The project will also engage local communities and businesses to create exciting new partnerships.

The 15 other places to bid successfully for funding are:

  • Craven District Council (Yorkshire and the Humber) – Crossing the Watersheds – £1,340,300
  • Derbyshire County Council (East Midlands) – Vital Valley: A creative future for Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site – £1,285,800
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (North West) – Stronger together: a culturally diverse and democratic city region – £1,489,255
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest (London) – Creative Connections – Culture for All – £1,355,600
  • Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (London) – Made In Park Royal – £1,489,200
  • Reading Borough Council (South East) – Reading-on-Thames – £558,400
  • Rural Media Charity (West Midlands) – Herefordshire’s a Great Place – £748,200
  • Sunderland Culture (North East) – Sunderland Comes of Age – £1,249,900
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority (North East) – Greater Tees – £1,332,500
  • The Creative Foundation (South East) – Pioneering Places: East Kent – £1,489,200
  • Torbay Economic Development Company Ltd (South West) – Torbay, a place to feel great – £1,191,400
  • Visit County Durham (North East) – Northern Heartlands – £1,489,200
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