Children & the Arts’ flagship programme Start welcomes 16 new partners this year, increasing our current arts partners to 27 across the UK, our largest network yet.

At the heart of the Start programme is our desire to make cultural venues accessible for a new generation. Through Start we reach areas where young people need creative inspiration the most and ensure that school children are inspired by the very best of the arts. The programme is proven to raise aspirations, build confidence and help with learning and development in the classroom.

This year, children will be introduced to a spread of creative arts including circus, classical Indian dance, origami sculpture, live theatre, visual and digital art thanks to a diverse range of Start partners. Through these new partners alone we will reach over 6,100 children in the 2017-18 academic year.

Find out more about Start here.


We are delighted to announce our new Start partners for 2017/18:

Artichoke, Durham

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

Balbir Singh Dance Company, Rotherham

Bolton Library & Museum Services

Cast, Doncaster

Cumbria Creative Learning Network

Déda, Derby

Focal Point Gallery, Southend

Junction, East Riding

Nonsuch, Nottingham

Rosehill Theatre, Cumbria

South Holland Centre

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

The Guildhall Museum, Rochester

The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

Z-Arts, Manchester


As the Start network grows each year, we are proud to support a culture of sharing ideas and best practice among arts education professionals.

Partners are selected by demonstrating their innovation, creativity and commitment to sustainable community cohesion. This year we recruited for partners alongside the below Arts Council England Bridge Organisations who entered into partnership investment with us to support arts and cultural organisations in their regions. We are delighted to be forging strong relationships with others who share our vision for brighter, healthier, and happier children through the power of an inclusive and accessible arts sector.

Artswork | South East

Curious Minds | North West 

IVE | Yorkshire and Humberside

Norfolk and Norwich Festival Bridge | Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Peterborough, Suffolk

Royal Opera House Bridge | Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, North Kent 

The Mighty Creatives | East Midlands