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 was a £35.2 million Arts Council funding programme that aimed to have a significant impact on the growth of an ambitious arts infrastructure outside London. The funding also supported leadership across art forms and gave 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 used the award for Groundwork, a three-year project that brought outstanding international artists to Cornwall and supported creative education for young people, culminating in an ambitious programme of international contemporary art in 2018. The programme was developed with partners Kestle Barton, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Tate St Ives and comprised events and activities that were additional to the regular programmes of all these organisations, with many taking place beyond gallery walls.

Support from Arts Council England was matched by generous support from the Ampersand Foundation, The Freelands Foundation, Outset, Quercus Trust and Cornwall Council. Groundwork was also supported by generous help-in-kind from Kestle Barton Trust.

Visit for more information about partners and supporters of Groundwork projects.