Affordable spaces for local creative groups at risk

In late 2023, Creative Lives conducted a survey to gather evidence about the issues facing creative groups and the venues they occupy across the UK and Ireland.

We found that:

  • 73% of creative groups have experienced cost increases for venue hire over the last two years.
  • One third of creative groups have been forced to move venue at least once since reconvening after the pandemic. 

Local creative groups, the lifeblood of many communities, are facing a crisis. Finding affordable and accessible spaces has always been a challenge, but rising costs are pushing them to the brink. This report from Creative Lives reveals the urgent need for action.

Our findings and recommendations are summarised here: Spaces for Creativity 2024.

To help address these issues, Creative Lives is calling for the following actions: 

  • Protect existing spaces - Creative groups deserve a right-to-be-consulted before changes to their venues, safeguarding their vital role in communities.
  • Establish venue partnerships - Collaboration between creative groups and venues like arts institutions can create supportive and mutually beneficial partnerships.
  • Provide financial support - Small grants can make a huge difference, helping groups cover venue hire, materials, and equipment. 

Without these measures, the rich tapestry of local creativity risks being lost, depriving communities of essential social connections and artistic expression. We need to ensure that everyone has a place to create, connect, and thrive.