Case Study

Creative People and Places (CPP) Programme Evaluation

Client: Arts Council England | Sectors: Social Policy

An evaluation we undertook for the Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places (CPP) programme has been successful in ensuring that more people are experiencing the arts in places of traditionally low engagement. In particular, the programme has been successful in engaging non-attenders in comparison with other arts programmes, which is a significant achievement. 

The CPP programme aims to get more people choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. All 21 CPP projects are based in areas where there are fewer opportunities for people to get involved with the arts. 

We conducted a three-year review of local CPP data and carried out primary research to feed into the wider evaluation of the programme. The evaluation looked at which initiatives worked or did not work, in terms of increasing the likelihood of people taking part in an art experience in their local area. A range of methods to successfully involve people were identified, including making sure that there were ongoing conversations with local people about the programme and putting on small, frequent events that were locally relevant. 

We carried out case study visits, depth interviews and focus groups to gather qualitative data, and analysed secondary data sourced from evaluation and monitoring reports provided by the CPPs. The final report on the first phase CPP detailed the outcomes of the programme to January 2017 and showed that all 21 local CPP projects achieved their short-term outcomes to a greater or lesser extent, including increased understanding of the arts, excellence, capacity and capability, as well as revenue for the arts. Furthermore, CPP is now being recognised a source of good practice and learning among the wider arts sector.

• The evaluation shows that the CPP programme has succeeded in getting more people experiencing the arts in places of traditionally low engagement 

• The evaluation took a theory-based approach and developed logic model, with research undertaken to test the mechanisms of the model within the context of the CPP programme 

• The research comprised: 
o 12 case study visits (averaging 5 interviews or groups per visit)
o 32 CPP Place Director semi-structured interviews
o 16 National Strategic stakeholder interviews (including 2 focus groups)
o Meta-analysis of c 290 quarterly monitoring reports and c200 local evaluation reports, following a framework to enable consistent assessment and extraction of relevant information

• The outputs were:
o 11 reports to assess progress in relation to the achievement of programme outputs and to facilitate learning and sharing of good practice
o 12 case studies to explore emerging themes and outcomes in greater depth
o 3 annual evaluation reports
o Marketing communications support in the form of website and social media news items

Key Experts

Rachel Blades Senior Research Manager