Funded by the Jane Hodge Foundation and the Moondance Foundation, CultureStep is an open access scheme designed to encourage new investment and develop established business engagement with the arts. 

Through CultureStep, A&B Cymru invests in innovative partnerships of all kinds between the two sectors, enhancing projects and increasing their long term effectiveness. 

Priorities & Criteria

All CultureStep projects must address at least one of the following priorities:

• Arts & Kids: engaging socially disadvantaged young people with the arts, making a tangible difference to the lives of some of the hardest to reach young people in Wales.

• Arts & Older People: engaging vulnerable and disadvantaged older people with the arts, making a positive difference to their lives, offering inspiration to people who are usually isolated from family, friends and / or society.

• Arts & Health: working with the arts to aid mental, emotional and / or physical wellbeing.

• Arts & the Environment: encouraging awareness of and demonstrating commitment to environmental issues through the arts.

• Arts & the Pioneer Areas: partnering the arts to improve the lives of disadvantaged people living in the Communities First clusters within Cardiff, Gwynedd, Newport, Swansea, Torfaen and Wrexham.  See below for further details.

Arts & the Pioneer Areas – Tackling Poverty through Culture
The Welsh Government has identified the Communities First clusters of 6 key regions of Wales to participate in the pilot year of its Pioneer Areas Programme. The initiative focusses on the vital role that the arts play in inspiring people to learn and gain skills. It emphasises the importance of cultural activities in improving the aspirations, ambitions and prospects of young people and adults. Full details of The Pioneer Area Programme pilot can be found at

In all cases, the business partner must be able to demonstrate that it is aiming to:

1. Achieve business objectives not previously addressed through arts partnership OR

2. Extend its relationship with the arts in a tangible and substantial way to achieve core objectives.

Decision Making

CultureStep decisions are taken by a panel chaired by A&B Cymru’s Chief Executive.  Members have a diverse range of skills and expertise and a thorough understanding of relevant issues.  They also have an in-depth knowledge of A&B Cymru and a commitment to its work and strategy.

The panel consists of 9 voting members and observers from Welsh Government and Arts Council of Wales are also invited to attend each meeting. The group meets quarterly and operates on the principle of collective responsibility.    All members have an equal voice.  The 2015-16 panel are:

Rachel Jones, Chief Executive, A&B Cymru (Chair)
Kathy Brown, Assistant Vice President, Community Investment, Barclays plc
Ian Hannah, Freelance Business Consultant
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director, Institute of Directors, Wales
Denise Lord, Trust & Foundation Fundraiser, Alabare
Robert Maskrey, former Managing Director & Chairman, Maskreys
Nigel Petrie, Director, Petrie and Company
Lynne Sheehy, CSR Manager, Legal & General
Richard Tynen, Director, The Funding Centre

2015-16 Deadlines & Meeting Dates:

Deadline Meeting Date
19 June 2015 9 July 2015
10 September 2015 23 September 2015
12 November 2015 26 November 2015
11 February 2016 25 February 2016
14 April 2016 28 April 2016

For full CultureStep Guidelines, please click here. If you have a potential project you would like to discuss with A&B Cymru, please e-mail