Arts Derbyshire


Almost £13.6 million in Derby/shire as Arts Council England Backs Art, Culture, and Creativity for More People in More Places

Arts Council England has revealed details of its new national portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-26. In total, 17 organisations in Derby/shire will receive a share of more than £4.5 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.

  • Bolsover and North East Derbyshire are the Arts Council’s Levelling Up places in Derbyshire, and will see more than £500,000 of new investment, as part of the 78 nationally designated towns and cities that will receive their share of £130 million of funding in next three years. Additional funding for places where cultural investment and opportunity has previously been too low, will support newcomers to the portfolio including: OPUS Music in Bolsover and Creswell Crags.

  • Overall, we have invested in a rich and varied mix of organisations: Established organisations such as Derby Theatre, Baby People and East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN) will be joined by Buxton Opera House for the first time; a boost for the best of our museums and libraries with an increase in funding for Derby Museums; and ambitious pioneers and innovators such as People Express.

It will benefit villages, towns and cities across Derby/shire, enabling more people to experience and participate in high quality creative and cultural activities where they live, while also laying the groundwork, building on the longer-term ambitions set out in the Arts Council’s 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.

As well as renewing our support for those excellent, innovative organisations that have done so much to build England’s reputation as one of the most creative countries in the world, we are investing in four new organisations in Derby/shire of all shapes and sizes, that will together help find and nurture the next generation of talent.

Our new portfolio is more diverse and wide-ranging than ever before. We’ll be welcoming:

  • Animate Projects works at the intersection of film, art and animation, producing work which is exhibited across broadcast, cinema, festival, gallery, public, online and digital platforms.

  • Buxton Opera House is a leading cultural venue, which presents around 450 performances each year including dance, comedy, children’s shows, drama, concerts, pantomime and opera as well as a Fringe Theatre and Community and Education Programme. The theatre has a small gallery space and is also home to the renowned Buxton International Festival.

  • Creswell Crags (Creswell Heritage Trust) which manages and maintains the Creswell Crags Heritage Site, including its collections, caves, and museum. From their site in Worksop, they welcome visitors to explore the site through a variety of tours, school visits and family activities.

  • OPUS Music – based in Bolsover, they create music-making opportunities for people of all ages across the East Midlands. This includes taking music-making into healthcare settings to benefit the wellbeing of patients – from premature babies to elderly care home residents – their visitors and healthcare staff.

Alongside increasing our investment in:

  • OPUS Music – based in Bolsover, they create music-making opportunities for people of all ages across the East Midlands. This includes taking music-making into healthcare settings to benefit the wellbeing of patients – from premature babies to elderly care home residents – their visitors and healthcare staff.

Alongside increasing our investment in:

  • Baby People – a music and arts development organisation, and the UK’s first dedicated Hip Hop school. It uses art and culture to engage and support the needs of its communities, empowering people in all stages of life. The increased investment will support them to deliver more work with children and young people from underrepresented and less engaged communities.

  • Derby Museums – which manages three accredited museums – Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill and Pickford’s House, caring for the city’s publicly owned collections. The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Museum and Art Gallery hosts art and artefacts from 300 years of Derby’s history. The increased investment will ensure they can continue to deliver the successful UK Creative Community Fellows programme in partnership with US-based National Art Strategies, and to support emerging arts leaders and practitioners to make change in their communities through culture.

  • EMCCAN – East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network supports Derby, Leicester and Nottingham Caribbean Carnivals. Together, they work to develop carnivals and provide leadership for the wider carnival sector, including hosting a national conference and editing a magazine. The increased investment will support them to extend the carnival network including scaling up work with Northampton Carnival.

  • Based in Chesterfield, Junction Arts is a rural participatory arts organisation which brings much needed creative opportunities to communities across North Derbyshire through festivals, workshops and events. This increased investment will support an expanded programme of work in Bolsover, Chesterfield and North-east Derbyshire, including a new Children’s Festival.

  • People Express is a participatory and community arts organisation rooted in South Derbyshire which supports local people to work with professional artists across all art forms. They specialise in working with underrepresented and hidden groups, offering creative experiences that are accessible, fun and safe spaces for participants to realise their creative potential and ambitions. The increased investment will support them to extend their reach, working with diaspora and underrepresented communities.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to unveil our ambitious new portfolio reaching more people in more places across Derby/shire than ever before.

“The Arts Council is investing more money outside London, and we’re introducing four new organisations locally. Derby/shire already boasts a vibrant cultural scene with an international reputation for excellence and we look forward to supporting more opportunities for even more communities across the region to experience creativity on their doorsteps.”

Sukhy Johal MBE, Chair, Midlands Area Council, said: “The cultural landscape in the Midlands is exciting and energetic with artists and organisations creating extraordinary work that engages and enriches communities. We want to support a sector which breaks down barriers, creates more opportunities to bring creativity and talent to the fore, and makes England a truly creative nation.”

Area Council is made up of leaders from arts, culture, business and elected local councillors from across the Midlands who all offer their expertise in making these investments.

Submit your news to Arts Derbyshire

Submit your news items to or fill out this news submission form.

You can also register as a member to list your arts business and events in our directory.


Related news posts

Sign up to our newsletter

Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.

Artists, creatives, cultural providers, arts and health specialists – Sign up for one of our professional mailing lists.