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Creativity Works cites an unsuccessful funding application to Arts Council England as a factor in its sudden closure.

Pictured in 2021 holding memorabilia from the Creativity Works archive are ( l-r) Creative Wellbeing Manager Philippa Forsey, former Director Sarah James and former trustee Pete Crooke

Creativity Works 40th Birthday Archive Project

An organisation in the South West of England which runs public arts and health projects has announced that it will cease operations by the end of this month due to a lack of funding.

In a statement Creativity Works said it would close by 31 October, citing financial challenges in the wake of an unsuccessful bid to Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio last year.

Founded in 1981, the charity offers creative activities and courses to improve mental health and well-being across North East Somerset and Bath. Its work is developed and delivered in partnership with cross-sector organisations, including the National Trust, Age UK, the NHS and local councils. 


In its closure announcement, the charity said that despite the successes of its 40 years of operations, “an unsuccessful application to Arts Council England" had left it "facing significant challenges and a highly uncertain future”.

The statement continued: “Given the scale of the immediate financial challenge we face and our now very limited capacity to meet it, it is apparent that the best way to ensure Creativity Works programmes and projects endure is not to focus our very limited resources on trying to continue as a self-sustaining, stand-alone organisation, but to seek organisations with similar values, aims and objectives who can build on our programme of work and develop it further in their own way.”

To ensure a "smooth handover of support", Creativity Works added that it is working closely with HCRG Care Group, which commissions its sessions on behalf of local integrated care boards, councils and other arts organisations.

Funding loss

A member of ACE’s National Portfolio since 2012, Creativity Works received around £90,000 a year from the funding body before losing its support.

Its records for the year 2021/22 show that turnover had increased by 28%, with overall income rising to £258,344, up from £185,264 in 2022/21 and £156,920 recorded for 2019/20. Between 2020/21 and 2021/22, its total expenditure rose by £76,957 to £251,948.

In its financial report for 2021/2022, Creativity Works noted that it was “entirely dependent upon grant and contract funding, which is subject to fluctuation” and that the charity requires “protection against, and the ability to continue operating despite catastrophic or lesser but damaging events”.

In response, the organisation produced a new five-year business plan and said it entered 2022/23 with “an increased sense of confidence”.

After losing ACE funding, the charity said it had “planned for this eventuality” and that despite the setback, it had “significant contracted work to deliver, healthy reserves and a robust fundraising plan to help see the organisation through this period of change". 

AP has contacted Creativity Works for comment.

A headshot of Mary Stone