Innovation Centre

Having had its application to Arts Council England (ACE) for the funding of the entire Soil Culture programme rejected in November 2012, CCANW was forced to move in March 2013 from its Project Space in the Haldon Forest to an office at the Innovation Centre. In May ACE awarded us a grant of £9,500 over six months to devise a new business model in response to the move. The business plan was completed in September and reflected a move from CCANW being a direct provider to an agency practice involving work with several partners.

In early 2013 Falmouth University, with CCANW as a partner, had been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant of £27,650 for a 14 month period beginning in March to enable research into the Soil Culture programme. It was decided to divide our next application to ACE relating to Soil Culture into two stages: Young Shoots covered the residency programme and exhibition, and Deep Roots covering the later exhibition of existing work by more established artists.

In November 2013 ACE approved funding of £49,000 over three years for Soil Culture: Young Shoots, with match funding of £17,250 coming from residency hosts and £3,500 from the hire of the touring exhibition. The grant from AHRC was used as ‘support in kind’ and we also received match funding from the British Society of Soil Science and South West Water.

In March 2015 CCANW was awarded a grant of £16,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fund 12 Soil Culture activities, taking place during both Young Shoots and Deep Roots phases.

In June 2015 ACE rejected our application for £29,600 to fund the second stage of Soil Culture: Deep Roots over a 17 month period. The application had been supported by match funding of £28,553 and support in kind of £52,780. This would have supported the exhibition Deep Roots at its two showings at Falmouth Art Gallery and Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University, and the publication.

This rejection resulted in a crisis which put this stage in jeopardy and led to CCANW having to give up its offices at the Innovation Centre and move to Dartington in November. In its appraisal, the application to ACE scored strongly in every area, but failed because it only ‘met’ requirements over public engagement; a judgement that we found very hard to accept.

Fortunately, thanks to the resolute support of our gallery partners in Falmouth and Plymouth, our staff and the artists themselves, a way forward was found. This involved cutting CCANW’s staff costs and overheads from £15,653 to a bare £2,000 and making substantial savings to transportation (down from £17,000 to just under £9,500) and to the mounting of the exhibition.

This finally resulted in a balanced budget of around £23,000, with Falmouth Art Gallery contributing £15,000 and Peninsula Arts £5,000. Part of the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£2,553) also paid for specific activities and other income came from advance sales of the publication and the re-sale of exhibition frames. It was agreed that Falmouth and Peninsula Arts paid directly for costs; this saved CCANW’s administrative costs, and explains why the accounts for Deep Roots are not included in our annual financial statements.

CCANW’s accounts for the period at the Innovation Centre (excluding the Deep Roots accounts) show:


Income totalled £34,938 with ACE contributing £20,308 (58.1%).


Income totalled £34,417 with ACE contributing £18,583 (54%).


Income totalled £23,568 (with ACE contributing an estimated 60% – the balance of ACE’s contribution cannot be calculated with any accuracy).

The end of funding for Soil Culture: Young Shoots and the failure to attract ACE and other funding for Deep Roots, rapidly depleted our resources and forced the move from the Innovation Centre to Dartington. CCANW’s annual report from 11 May 2016-31 March 2017 indicated a turnover of only £1,062 and a surplus of £300.

Despite 2015 being designated as the International Year of Soils by the United Nations (UN), we were shocked at the lack of financial support for Soil Culture from the UN, and from Government agencies, including Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It was hoped that the UK’s hosting of the World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow in 2022 would provide a better opportunity for people to become engaged through the arts in soils issues; CCANW saw Soil Culture as being ‘unfinished business’ which would be returned to in the Our Living Soil project.

Next Page

Dartington 2015-2020

This page is related to:

Press enter to search or esc to cancel