Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place Scheme is a £20 million initiative inspired by the Government’s Culture White Paper.  The Scheme funds projects in areas where there is a commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage in local plans and decision-making.  By strengthening the networks between culture, civic and community organisations, and by involving citizens and local businesses, each of the sixteen projects across England will enhance the role that culture plays in the future of each place.  In time, this will lead to the wide range of social and economic benefits that arts, culture and heritage can achieve. 

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, South West, said: ‘From the exceptional Torre Abbey to Paignton’s Pier, from its important collections and archaeology to Agatha Christie, it is clear that Torbay stands as one of our national jewels.

Working in partnership, openly listening to communities will see Torbay use its extraordinary heritage to drive regeneration and reduce wellbeing inequality. Our heritage can provide routes to improved health, skills development, and create a sense of place, providing a stake for all in a better future and to have pride in, and love where we live. By investing in and maximising Torbay’s special heritage and culture Torbay can flourish and be everything it deserves to be.’


Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives.  They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2015 and 2018, Arts Council England plans to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.  

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: ‘Torbay is a place of great potential with a stunning natural landscape as well as a wealth of cultural and heritage assets. Investment in Torbay Culture over the last few years has given shape to this potential; working with a range of partners and local people, Torbay Culture has developed and delivered projects and activities that are working to make Torbay a great place to live, work, play and visit by promoting health and wellbeing, developing civic pride and making the most of the area’s natural beauty and rich heritage.’


TDA commissioned Torbay’s ten year cultural strategy Enjoy, Talk, Do, Be in 2015. It hosts the Executive Director and Project Manager and is now working in close collaboration with Torbay Culture board members and partners to implement the strategy and transform cultural provision and engagement in the area.

Alan Denby, Director of Economic Strategy & Performance, said: ‘TDA strives to make a real difference for the people and businesses of Torbay. We deliver a range of innovative, practical programmes and projects designed to support the local economy and create opportunities that will ensure Torbay is a great place to do business and a great place to live. We are convinced of the power of culture to contribute to these aims.'