Past Work

Real Ideas has an extensive track record delivering a wide range of projects, programmes, contracts and commissions for public, private and third sector organisations. Through these activities we have created positive outcomes for individuals and communities, improved physical spaces, supported the growth of social and community enterprises, explored new approaches to education and raised awareness of green issues.  

Our extensive list of past commissioners, customers and funders demonstrates the breadth of our work. We have longstanding relationships with many of them, have built trusted relationships and in some cases, won awards – put in link to awards. 

Creativity, innovation and collaboration underpin everything we do. The following examples/case studies give you a snapshot of some of our key strategic activities.  

Arts Council England  

Real Ideas has always delivered cultural and creative outcomes for Arts Council England. Initially this was through the Creative Partnerships programme connecting schools and creative practitioners. From 2011 we became the Bridge organisation for the SW working strategically to improve outcomes for children, young people and schools. In April 2023, it changed again and we became a National Portfolio Organisation focusing on immersive technology, printmaking and opportunities for disengaged young people.  

European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund 

Supporting young unemployed people and giving them the confidence and skills to make positive choices and progress into work or education is a key area of Real Ideas’ work. Throughout our history we have successfully delivered multi-million-pound ESF contracts, such as Game Changer, large scale National Community Lottery Fund programmes, such as Talent Match, and a wealth of innovative projects funded by the DWP and DEFRA enabling us to reach diverse and underrepresented communities. 

Cultural Development Fund 

Exploring the opportunities creative technologies offer individuals and supporting the growth of the creative industries, particularly in the immersive ‘Tech for Good’ arena is part of Real Ideas’ DNA. From our early days experimenting with projection mapping and enabling young people to create content, this area of work has grown significantly, including being an active delivery partner in Plymouth’s £6.2 million Cultural Development Fund programme (with the University of Plymouth; Arts University Plymouth; Plymouth City Council; Creative UK; and Crowdfunder).  

Rank Foundation 

We have worked with the Rank Foundation since they started their Plymouth place-based programme, the Rank Initiative for Social Enterprise (RISE), investing in the growth of the social enterprise sector in the city. Real Ideas plays a key role as an anchor organisation, running a creative leadership initiative, and more recently supporting the innovative Repayable Grant Scheme. An enthusiastic supporter of the Time to Shine programme, Real Ideas has had 6 Time to Shine interns, and has offered several of them permanent employment. 

British Council 

From 2010 until the Covid pandemic disrupted international programmes, Real Ideas partnered with the British Council to deliver the Social Enterprise in Schools programme, supporting schools in a range of countries from Jamaica to Slovenia, Egypt to Brazil, to introduce innovative social enterprise education into their school systems. Alongside our education work, we brokered collaborations between creative social enterprises, notably in South Africa, enabling international dialogue and innovation. 

We are fortunate to have a huge range of partners, supporters, collaborators and funders.  

Together, we work across Plymouth, Cornwall, the Southwest, nationally and internationally, delivering innovative, creative and entrepreneurial approaches that change lives.