West of England Visual Arts Alliance

West of England to receive £1.18 million boost to transform the visual arts in the region thanks to new partnership

Tuesday, 10 August, 2021

A new partnership, called the West of England Visual Arts Alliance, has been awarded £1.18 million by Arts Council England to transform the future of visual arts in Bristol and the West of England.

Over the next three years, the West of England Visual Arts Alliance programme aims to transform Bristol and the West of England into a place where the visual arts can thrive.

Opportunities which will be confirmed later this year, are expected to include three artist development programmes led by Spike Island, Visual Arts South West and The Brunswick Club Online and place-based mentoring, and resources and interdisciplinary skills workshops.

Research and development bursaries of between £500–£1,000 will also be awarded to more than 15 South West-based artists, curators and independent art workers each year.

Co-led by Spike Island and Visual Arts South West, the consortium includes partners Bath Spa University School of Art, Bristol City Council, The Brunswick Club, Creative Youth Network, Culture Weston, North Somerset Council and UWE Bristol.

Artists and curators who would like to hear first about these opportunities are encouraged to sign up to the Spike Island and/or Visual Arts South West mailing lists.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, says:

“We are delighted to be announcing more details of our £1.18 million development programme, Supporting Visual Arts Progression in Bristol and the West of England, and we’re pleased to announce that the partnership consortium, the West of England Visual Arts Alliance, will be the recipient of the funding award.”

“The programme was designed with the local visual arts ecology in mind, to transform the opportunities in Bristol and across the West of England. This is the best opportunity we’ve had to direct a substantial amount of investment towards the development of the visual arts in the city and region.”

This strategic partnership will also provide support for access costs and network hubs, help artist-led groups to secure urgently needed homes, and enable artist-led organisations and studio providers to become more sustainable and inclusive by adopting new models of best practice.

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