Ambition for Excellence Evaluation The Arts Council England Tender Closes 14th February 2020

Ambition for Excellence focuses on stimulating and supporting significant ambition and excellence across the arts sector in England. The fund opened in May 2015 and Arts Council invested £36m into the programme funding 68 projects. The last awards were made at the end of February 2018 and projects run for no longer than 3-years in length with all activity due to end no later than April 2021.

The Ambition for Excellence programme aims to:
– contribute to the development of strong cultural places
– grow and develop talent and leadership in the regions and across artforms
– give an international dimension to excellent work
– create the highest quality new work, including for outdoor and festival contexts

Ambition for Excellence focuses on funding large scale practice(s) and/or projects for creative and artistic development opportunities that will support a step change in practice within and beyond the organisations funded.

Arts Council England requires a programme-level evaluation of Ambition for Excellence to understand the impact, legacy successes and challenges for the programme. The evaluation should bring together secondary and primary research providing a programme-level evidence of the programme’s contribution and impact against the over-arching programme aims. We would like the evaluation to highlight key findings and learnings that can be shared more widely within the sector and inform future investment funds relating to this area of work and review the delivery of the programme by Arts Council. The evaluation should additionally, bear in mind what contribution, nuance and understanding these learnings can provide for ACE into its next 10 Year Strategy.

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