Arts Development

Arts Development

The City Council’s Arts Development programme is designed to encourage, support and facilitate participation in high-quality creative activities by people who, for a variety of reasons, might not otherwise have that opportunity. Projects and programmes are concentrated in those areas of the city where there is least provision or where the provision that does exist is unsuitable for, or does not meet the needs of, a significant proportion of the resident population – children and young people, for example, or vulnerable older people, or disabled people.

Projects are developed with potential participants and key community-based partners to ensure that activities reflect their creative skills and ambitions and the rich cultural heritage of the city’s many communities

Artist Residencies

The core Arts Development programme is delivered through a series of extended artists’ residencies. Residencies are undertaken by professional artists with exceptional creative and community engagement skills, and all are focussed on disadvantaged communities. Activities take place in community settings, which may include local schools.

The aims of the residencies are to:

  1. Increase participation in creative activity
  2. Create and support opportunities for professional artists to share their skills and practice with local people
  3. Facilitate, enable and celebrate the making of a rich and diverse range of high-quality art by and in local communities across the city
  4. Build strong, lasting and creative relationships and partnerships with communities across the city

Visit our Artist Residencies page to see some of our latest projects.

Communities and/or community-based organisations who are interested in hosting residencies should contact Alison Flanagan-Wood by emailing or

Arts Connect

Arts Connect is a brokerage and inclusive delivery programme which aims to enable children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) needs to participate in creative activity of their choice with their non-disabled peers. Where possible these activities are inclusive so young people with SEND participated alongside their non-disabled peers.  Arts brokers, all of whom are professional artists, engage with the children and young people to identify the activity they would like to participate in and then broker a relationship with the providers to enable them to do so. Current projects include

  • The Photography Club at Newcastle City Library - on Zoom during COVID
  • Art Garden at Scotswood Natural Community Garden
  • Music Garden at Scotswood Natural Community Garden
  • konnect at Star and Shadow digital music making - on Zoom during lockdown
  • The Laing Art Club - fortnightly art in the gallery and online
  • Hang Out and Dance - floor based and aerial dance at Dance City and outdoors

For more information contact


Financial support for creative projects in the city is provided by a variety of sources:

  • The Newcastle Fund, which has only one application deadline each year, is available to all constituted community and voluntary organisations based in the city and is intended to enhance individual and community resilience and well-being.
  • The Newcastle Culture Investment Fund is managed by the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The Foundation also manages a significant number of other funds which have supported creative activity.
  • The Great North City Fund is intended to support the development of large -scale events which will enhance the profile of the city nationally and internationally and support the growth of leisure and business tourism.

A significant number of cultural organisations in the city have been given access to Prudential Loans by the City Council in recent years. As a rule, the loans have been arranged to enable organisations to become more entrepreneurial and to reduce their dependence on public subsidy. Requests for loans are assessed on a case-by-case basis and are awarded only on the recommendation of the Director of Resources.

For further information, please contact Andrew Rothwell, Culture and Tourism Manager by emailing 

Did you know?

Our Arts Connect project works with children and young people on a range of creative activities.  

The film below captures some of the activities at our Hang Out and Dance Classes which run at Dance City.  The groups invited children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their non-disabled peers to hang and dance and fly together. 

These inclusive sessions are a partnership between Arts Connect, Bare Toed Dance Company and Dance City.  The film maker is John Quinn.


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