In January 2016 CAST learned that it was one of the first organisations to win support from Arts Council England’s recently launched Ambition for Excellence scheme. Funded by the National Lottery, the scheme is a £35.2 million Arts Council funding programme that aims to have a significant impact on the growth of an ambitious arts infrastructure outside London. The funding also supports leadership across art forms and gives an international dimension to the creation of new work. The £500,000 grant to CAST was the first Ambition for Excellence award in Cornwall and only the second in the whole South West region.
CAST is using the award for Groundwork, a three-year project that will bring outstanding international artists to Cornwall and support creative education for young people, culminating in an ambitious programme of international contemporary art in 2018. The programme is being developed with partners Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives and will comprise events and activities that are additional to the regular programmes of all these organisations, with many taking place beyond gallery walls.
Support from Arts Council England is matched by generous support from the Freelands Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Quercus Trust and Cornwall Council. Groundwork is also supported by help-in-kind from Kestle Barton Trust.