Arts Council England
Printable version

The South West Culture Digest - Spring 2022

For this Spring’s South West Culture Digest, we reflect on the last few months – from our recent funding announcements, to the magical Green Space Dark Skies events as part of UNBOXED Festival, and our recent visit to the Isles of Scilly; a significant place in our commitment to bringing more cultural experiences to communities that have been underserved in the past.

With warmer days on the horizon, there’s a host of cultural events and activities in the south west to enjoy this summer, starting with a festive weekend of art and play for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, along with other projects that have been awarded National Lottery funding!

If you have a good news story or an opportunity you’d like to share with us, email us at

Good News

Creative celebrations of the Queens Platinum Jubilee

A wave of exciting events and volunteering opportunities will be taking place across the south west as part of Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from 2 to 5 June.

From Mevagissey, to Okehampton, and up to Sedgemoor, 88 community organisationsacross the area will come together to mark the occasion through creativity, thanks to our National Lottery funded Let’s Create Platinum Jubilee programme.

Find out how you can take part 

Funding News

A round up of new funding for creative and cultural projects across the region

Venues at the heart of communities to be transformed

Nine cultural venues in the south west, including The Department, an exciting high street development on the Isle of Wight; the Gosport Diving Museum and North Somerset’s Clevedon library, have been awarded almost £8 million through the Government’s Cultural Investment Fund.

The fund, delivered by the Arts Council, is broken down into three streams; the Cultural Development Fund, the Museum Estate and Development Fund and the Libraries Improvement Fund, designed to support museums, libraries and cultural organisation across the country.

Round 2 of the Museum Estate and Development Fund and Libraries Improvement Fund are open. Round 3 of the Cultural Development Fun opens soon.

Get all the key dates and the list of successful recipients, here.

Breaking down barriers to volunteering

On 13 April, we invested £310,000 in two projects in the South West, thanks to £4.6 million in Government investment. The programme will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors, to continue their valuable work within local communities while volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference.

Find out more

Capital funding boosts cultural infrastructure in priority places

This month, we announced over £2.9 million of investment, awarded to nine organisations in the South West, from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucester, up to Swindon, and over to Gosport. Ranging from £100,000 to £750,000, our Capital Investment Funding is set to strengthen the cultural offer in the region, supporting venues to operate safely post-pandemic and improve access, seize on technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact.

Read the news story

Celebrating those making a different through National Lottery Project Grants

In this month’s National Lottery Project Grants Twitter thread, we are shining the light on individuals in the south west whose work explores themes of mental health, addiction, loss, identity, connection and beyond.

Thanks to the National Lottery’s Lotto Good Causes, we have already invested £4.9 million in 142 projects this year.

Get a flavour of the projects


#CultureWelcomesRefugees Initiative 

South west arts organisations are showing their solidarity by providing free entry to their events and programmes to refugees across the region, through the Culture Welcomes Refugees campaign. 

Organisations are offering free tickets to Ukrainian, Afghan and Syrian refugees on events programmed up until the end of August 2022. 

Find out more here, and join the #CultureWelcomesRefugees initiative.

Green Spaces Dark Skies

Thousands of people across the UK are taking part in a series of unique gatherings at dusk for Green Space Dark Skies as part of UNBOXED Festival 2022. The events, running from April to September, bring together thousands of ‘Lumenators‘ across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as part of the magical illumination of UK’s beautiful green spaces. There’s still time to sign up and join the journey! 

Become a Lumenator

National Lottery Awards 

It’s your last chance to vote in this year’s National Lottery Awards. The awards celebrate the people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. Celebrate the people across the South West who have stood up against adversity and stood out for their caring commitment to their causes.  
Nominations close at midnight on 1 June 2022.  

Vote here

South West Spotlight

Isles of Scilly 

In March, our area team and Arts Council CEO, Darren Henley visited the Isles of Scilly, the rural archipelago off the coast of Cornwall and an Arts Council England priority place. 

As we check out some of the emerging cultural activity there, read our spotlight.

From the Archives

Five questions with... Natalie McGrath, playwright and poet 

As we enter Pride Month this June, we look back on when we caught up with Natalie McGrath, a poet, performer, playwright, song lyricist and co-director of Dreadnought South West.  

Natalie’s play, The Beat of Our Hearts, explores LGBTQIA+ loneliness and belonging in the south west. The production premiered earlier this year and was supported by National Lottery Project Grants. 

Read Natalie's Q&A

Celebrating Pride with StoneCrabs 

We spoke with StoneCrabs on the Isle of Wight about their oral history heritage project, Out On An Island - the Island’s first ever exhibition dedicated to LGBTQIA+ history. Underrepresented voices and untold stories take centre stage in StoneCrab’s productions, which use professional theatre as a tool for questioning the status quo, raising aspirations, awareness, education, as well as personal and social development.  

Take a glimpse of the exhibition

Looking Ahead

Apricity Theatre Ltd’s tour of their adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, is coming to Bristol and Trowbridge, for a celebration of love, life, and human nature this July.  

The project brings ‘As You Like It’, this time with a focus on LGBTQIA+  themes, and an all-female and non-binary cast.  The project was awarded £23,878 through our Project Grants funding, thanks to the National Lottery players. 

Upcoming shows:15 July, 16 July, and 28 July. Found out more here 

Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Arts Council England

Keep Your Data Private, Anywhere. Prevent unauthorised viewing with privacy screen filters from Kensington