Previous guidance for Creative, Confident Communities

Circles South East

Note about this guidance

In November 2021, we updated our strategy and guidance for Creative, Confident Communities. Read our blog about the changes.

On this page, you'll find the previous guidance we had under our original Creative, Confident Communities strategy. If you had an application in process at the time of the change or if you are currently working on an application the previous strategy, we will take this guidance into account when assessing your application.

Please note, however, that from 1 January 2022, we will be assessing all applications under the updated strategy and guidance.

Creative, Confident Communities: priorities

We want to strengthen the bonds in communities, helping local people to build vibrant, confident places where they can fulfil their creative, human and economic potential. Places where the local economy works better for the people who live there, where there is equality of access to arts and culture, and where communities are at the heart of change.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We commit to funding more organisations led by communities experiencing racial inequity. In Creative, Confident Communities, we will also work with partners to identify, fund, and nurture smaller organisations led by communities experiencing racial inequity that are working towards our impact goals.

Climate change

Across all our aims, we are keen to support work which addresses the causes and impacts of climate change.

Impact goals by 2030 Priorities in first 5 years
Communities take an active role in decisions that affect them. Communities working together for change
Local economies work better for the people who live there. Community ownership and regeneration
Everyone can access the benefits of culture and creativity. Creativity transforming lives

Culture restoring communities

Communities working together for change

Communities thrive when people have the power to take action and the ability to work together. We seek out ambitious work that puts communities themselves at the heart of changes they want to make and can provide transformative models for others to learn from. We want to support communities to be confident in having more ownership of their economic, social and environmental future.

Impact goal:

Communities take an active role in decisions that affect them

We want to support work that:
  • Shapes fairer and more equal places where people have a say in decisions that matter to them
  • Motivates and enables communities to use their collective ideas, skills and assets to bring about their vision of what they want their local area to be
  • Results in the voluntary, public, and corporate sectors working together to deliver collective change with communities
  • Creates strong networks that continue to benefit communities beyond the lifetime of our funding
Applicants must:

Be working in partnership with other charities, businesses or public sector organisations to deliver ambitious outcomes.

Community ownership and regeneration

When communities have ownership of local land, housing and services, they have a stake in more than just assets. We believe that community ownership could help rebuild local economies, and should play a central role in creating collaborative, thriving, and green local economies for all.

Impact goal:

Local economies work better for the people who live there

We want to support work that:
  • Tests new, sustainable models of community ownership and community-led regeneration (of land, assets, housing and services) with the aim of creating wider change
  • Takes a localised, community-led approach to engage people with the common goal of changing their local economy for the better
  • Tackles inequality within communities by diversifying those engaged in local economic design and supporting new models that centre on those previously excluded
  • Uses the purchasing power and assets of locally rooted institutions to achieve greater social and economic justice in their communities
  • Champions environmental justice, regenerative enterprises, green recovery and access to nature in any economic development
  • Prioritises those communities most likely to experience the negative economic impacts of COVID-19

Creativity transforming lives

We believe creative activity can help people facing difficult social or personal issues and can be a powerful way to tackle inequality and injustice. We are interested in those who use the power of creativity to address vital issues and help individuals to reach their potential.

Impact goal:

Everyone can access the benefits of culture and creativity

We want to support work that:
  • Develops models of creative participation which enable people to find solutions to the social or personal issues that affect them
  • Uses arts and culture to address social and environmental injustice
  • Uses creativity and culture to help people and communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and beyond

Culture restoring communities

The inequality of access to culture and to developing personal creativity that already existed across the UK has been made worse by the impact of COVID-19. Culture and creative activity can help to restore those communities most affected, inspiring them to see themselves in new ways and to change the ways others see them.

Impact goal:

Everyone can access the benefits of culture and creativity

We want to support work that:
  • Transforms places through a collaborative approach to culture that involves local people alongside cultural organisations and other local players
  • Is led by local people and enables communities to engage with creative work in the ways that are most meaningful to them
  • Enables cultural organisations with a strong track record of community engagement to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and strengthen their engagement with their communities
Applicants must:

Be delivering the work as part of an ambitious local or regional partnership, put what communities want at the centre of their work, and deliver artistically excellent work.