In depth support

As Bridge we offer a range of intensive support to organisations in the south west working in arts and culture, in education, or with young people in other settings – all subsidised by Arts Council England.

Our in-depth programmes offer expert consultancy support across a broad range of themes from developing a high quality cultural offer for young people, to innovation around Arts Award and Artsmark.

If any of our in-depth programmes resonate with you and you'd like to find out more please get in touch by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 08458 621288.

All of the programmes below run from April 2015 until March 2016 unless otherwise stated

Cultural Innovation Programme

Working intensively with us we can support you to make a real difference to the way you work and your cultural offer to children and young people.

This support will mostly be consultancy from RIO's expert team, but could also include training and remote support too. We will also support organisations on the programme to consider new investment, to become more sustainable and resilient, to embed the Arts Council’s Quality Principles and to maximise their impact on children and young people.

We’re also keen to support organisations to embed Arts Award and Artsmark across their portfolio of activity.

How to apply

To apply, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Challenge Fund

RIO launched the next round of the Challenge Fund on 18th August 2016. The Challenge Fund provides leveraged investment to support organisations, commissioners and partnerships who are unlocking income that have never before supported cultural education activity for young people.

This year, the Challenge Fund seeks to support cultural education, health and wellbeing in children and young people, and we will look for proposals which can demonstrate an evidenced need to support this target group in this area. Organisations wanting to put forward an expression of interest can work in any sector within the Arts Council defined region of the south west, at either strategic or grassroots level, as long as they can demonstrate that their proposal seeks to support high quality arts for children and young people, with a particular emphasis on health and wellbeing.

We are looking for match funding requests of £25,000-£75,000. Your Expression of Interest should reflect the themes of the Cultural Education Partnership in your area.

Click here to find out more. Please be aware that the closing deadline for all applications is 18th September 2016.

Cultural Education Partnerships

A targeted development programme working in specific localities, this programme will focus on identifying and supporting local cultural infrastructure focused on young people. It will build strategic relationships, identify opportunities for investment, support organisations important in developing the local offer and, where appropriate, model high quality engagement and practice with young people.

The localities we are currently working with are:

Arts Award

Arts Award Innovation Programme

Supporting Arts Award is a key component of our work as Bridge. Under this programme we will work intensively with 20 organisations to innovate their arts education using Arts Award.

Our aim is to support the development of innovative, structured approaches to increase the number and range of children and young people experiencing arts & culture and increase the numbers achieving the Arts Award.

For each organisation we work with we will develop a targeted, concise agreement working towards established outcomes.

About Arts Award

Arts Award offers young people an inspiring arts journey. Each path can take a different direction – from fashion to film-making, from dance to design, from photography to poetry. Whichever route they choose to follow, young people are always in the driving seat.

Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. The programme develops their creativity, leadership and communication skills.

Open to anyone aged from 5 to 25, Arts Award embraces all interests and backgrounds. Through working towards an award young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment.

Arts Award motivates and celebrates young people’s artistic achievements. Young people can achieve an award through any arts, media or cultural activity, developing knowledge and understanding of their chosen art forms.

Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations. RIO leads the Arts Award regional development for the South West as part of this Bridge network.

Check out our Useful Docs and Downloads for more on Arts Award or visit the website here.


Artsmark - Inspiring young people through the arts and culture

We believe every child should have the opportunity to create, compose, and perform, as well as to visit, experience, participate in and review extraordinary work.

Artsmark can help unlock the potential of children and young people, help to develop character and talent, and increase their knowledge and understanding. That’s why Artsmark was created: to bring this ambition to life in every classroom.

Awarded by Arts Council England, designed by schools, the new Artsmark award will help schools deliver a high quality arts and cultural education and provide an excellent way to demonstrate this. Across the country Artsmark is rewarding more and more schools for championing arts and culture. Any school, college or youth justice setting can apply. Artsmark schools gain access to exceptional resources as well as networks of the country’s most treasured cultural organisations, helping them develop and strengthen their arts provision.

About Artsmark

Artsmark award celebrates schools that champion the arts and strive for excellence in their provision.

The award has been redesigned for the 2015/16 academic year by schools for schools to make it more relevant to the changing educational landscape and, as such, it seeks to help schools strike a balance in meeting EBACC and STEM priorities.

As well as recognising schools that make the arts come alive, the Artsmark award is a useful, practical and valuable tool for enriching a school’s arts provision and ensuring the myriad of benefits brought by the arts are infused across the curriculum and the school community.  It provides schools with access to high quality and practical resources and enviable networks that will enable them to use the arts to inspire learning and harness the power of the arts in developing happy, successful and confident young people.

Any school, college or youth justice organisation can apply for Artsmark. Find out more about who can apply and which settings Artsmark is not applicable to.

A list of schools and educational settings that currently hold an Artsmark award is available as a PDF or as an Excel spreadsheet. This list covers Round 13 (2012/13), Round 14 (2013/14) and Round 14 extended (2014/15). The information listed was correct for organisations at the time of achieving Artsmark award.

The new Artsmark award is now open to applications. It has a common sense application process that is light on paperwork and flexible to how each school is run. Find out more about how Artsmark works.

Artsmark supports Arts Award which recognises the creative development of individual young people.

How Artsmark Works

Click here to learn more about how Artsmark works

Ready to register?

If you wish to register for Artsmark, please click here

Artsmark Process

If you would like to be kept up to date on Artsmark developments, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add you to our mailing list. Alternatively, please use the sign-up box below:

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