Local creative groups are crying out for suitable venues

In late 2021, as indoor creative activity was starting to resume after the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, Creative Lives conducted a survey to gather evidence about the issues facing creative groups and venues in the UK and Ireland.

The survey captured a transition point of activity. Of the groups that were gathering again:

  • just over half (51%) of the creative groups were back meeting indoors
  • with 42% in a mix of remote and in-person
  • and the remainder meeting entirely remotely (6%) or outdoors (1%).

We found a wide array of issues as creative groups started to reconvene after the restrictions of the pandemic, but the overall picture is that local creative groups are struggling to find suitable venues in which to meet. Groups reported difficulties finding large enough venues with adequate ventilation; restrictions on their activities or participant numbers; and finding accessible venues at a reasonable cost.

Our findings are summarised in this new report: Spaces for Creativity

To help address these difficulties and create an environment that is more supportive of community-based creative activity than before the pandemic, Creative Lives will be embarking on a new phase of work to support restarting local creative activity, including:

  • offering micro-grants;
  • sharing case studies demonstrating innovative use of public space;
  • building new alliances and piloting new initiatives that open up public spaces to creative groups.

We need to see empty buildings made safe,
so art can be at the heart of our community.