Ideas People Places (IPP) was an Arts Council of Wales project that aimed to embed the arts in a genuine and meaningful way, in a small number of innovative regeneration projects, running for four years - from 2014 until 2019. 

The programme looked to test new models of regeneration, placemaking and collaboration through the arts, with seven consortia being empowered to commission projects in their own areas, and in so doing inspire their communities to re-imagine their environment, in a creative way.

To develop and implement innovative, collaborative, creative projects between artists and project consortia which influence the way regeneration is conceived and implemented.

To create processes which enable communities to take a greater lead in regeneration and, through this, raise well-being.

To create the conditions for more engaged and creative regeneration processes to continue into the future.  

The Projects

Seven projects were supported across Wales. Each project received between £199,445 and £585,000 over the course of the programme, with a total budget of £3m for the whole project:

These projects were diverse, and while they all met the IPP brief, they differed considerably in their size, scope and aims. Some projects built on consortiums of common interest within existing relationships, whereas others saw new partnerships between organisations that had not worked together before.

Within some consortia, arts organisations took a leadership role within the project, whereas in others, non-arts organisations had more direct involvement leading the consortium. Some projects focused on delivering more tangible physical regeneration outcomes within their communities, while others centred on creative processes that explored community strengths as a means to supporting and promoting community-led regeneration outcomes.


The Arts Council decided to commission Professor Paul Heywood, Dean of Academic Programmes at the University of the Arts: Central St Martins, to write a reflective piece on the Ideas: People: Places programme. Paul has been a critical friend of the programme since Stage 1, and has seen the projects grow and develop.      

The piece of work was published in December 2017.

Thinking Beyond the Snowline

'Thinking Beyond the Snowline' is an independent reflection by Ruth Essex and Chris Coppock on the Arts Council of Wales’ Ideas: People: Places programme. The overall aim of Ideas People Places was been to embed the arts in a genuine and meaningful way into a number of imaginative, ambitious and innovative community regeneration projects. It was established in 2015 and it’s legacy continues today in the 7 organisations. 

Ruth is a Cultural developer, consultant and artist and was the External Programme Manager for the Ideas People Places Programme

Chris Coppock is Contemporary art curator, consultant and activist, who worked as Creative Principal for Arts and Minds and Ideas People Places project based in Blaenau Gwent.