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Creative Civic Change

Thank you to everyone who responded to our call out for Creative Civic Change - we have been inspired by all the communities embracing arts and creativity across the country.

December 2018

We have now selected 16 communities who are using the arts and creativity to make positive changes in their local areas, and we will be announcing these in May 2019.

Creative Civic Change is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust. Created in response to the Inquiry into the Civic Role of the Arts, the programme brings £4m of new funding to communities and supports residents to use the power of creativity and arts to achieve goals that they define.

Communities in the lead

Whether local priorities are social, economic or environmental, the programme will help communities respond in creative ways. In addition to grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 per area, there is substantial and inspiring support available throughout the three-year programme. This includes mentoring, coaching, skills development, peer-to-peer support, networking to help communities achieve the changes they set out to make.

All 16 communities are currently going through a supported development phase. This will enable communities to challenge the ideas set out in their expression of interest and develop them into fully deliverable creative project plans. The successful community groups will be announced when funding decisions have been made in May 2019.

Our inspiration

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Find out how arts and creativity are being harnessed to change lives in two communities.

Newington Big Local and People United: A light in the darkness

Cara Thorpe from Newington Big Local and Tom Andrews founder of People United share their journey to establish arts and creativity in the community, and how it couldn't have happened without taking the time to work with the residents, find out what they wanted to develop something amazing that brings people from all walks of life together.

Creative Barking & Dagenham and Creative People and Places: Building cultural connections

Lindsey Pugh, Executive Creative Producer at Creative Barking & Dagenham shares how and why the arts grew to have a place in their community; Sharlene Carter explains her role as a Cultural Connector - a resident of Barking & Dagenham that runs her own programmes for young people and helps to coordinate some of the biggest cultural events in the area.

Programme stages

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There are three key stages to the programme:

  1. Community call out (complete)
  2. Development phase (autumn 2018/spring 2019)
  3. Programme delivery (from spring 2019 and for up to three years)

More information on the programme can be found in our FAQs. You can also contact us with your questions and to find out how we can help you throughout the process.

Contact information

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Programme co-ordinator

Phone: 020 3588 0576

There is more information on the programme in the briefing document and FAQs.

About the partners

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The Big Lottery Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust are working in partnership with at least 10 communities to deliver Creative Civic Change in 2018-19. The partnership will support communities to lead arts and creative projects that realise their own visions for their areas. The organisations share the belief that arts and creativity can be harnessed to engage, inspire and mobilise communities, and together they want to showcase the difference creativity and imagination can make, particularly in places which are often depicted negatively in the media.

All documents

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Click on the links below to download the relevant document.

For further information e-mail us at or call on 020 3588 0576.

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2 Jan 2019: Our office is open but our phones are not working. Please email us at while we fix them and we will respond to messages as soon as we can.

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