Arts Council of Wales | Momentum


In October 2013 Arts Council of Wales launched Momentum its successor programme to Reach the Heights.

Head 4 Arts, Abertillery
Head4Arts Momentum Project – Darren Warner, Photography Tutor

The aim of the Momentum programme is to engage marginalised young people in inspiring and creative activities, enabling them to achieve hard outcomes, increase their skills and confidence, improve their emotional wellbeing and develop their employability.

The first phase of the programme, aimed at the 11-18 age group, was a pilot phase which allowed us to test the effectiveness of its approach to identification, tracking, progression and outcomes for the young people involved.

Phase 2 of the programme allowed us to further test the effectiveness while extending it to the 19-24 age group.

Engage Cymru - Photo: Mary Sikkel
Engage Cymru. Photo: Mary Sikkel

Momentum Phase 1

Momentum Phase 1 - was delivered over a 7 month period in 2014.

It focused on delivering hard outcomes for the young people involved, outcomes such as accreditation that demonstrated clear steps towards employability, alongside increasing skills and confidence. The project was delivered in partnership with Communities First and was jointly funded through Arts Council of Wales Lottery and Communities First funding.

We funded 14 projects all of whom delivered a range of hard and soft outcomes. The projects were delivered in a range of settings including; mainstream schools, pupil referral units, community based youth provision and arts venues. We engaged 325 young people in total (compared to our target of 213). All projects demonstrated at least 1 hard outcome for participants. 58% of 11-16 year olds received accreditation and 55% of 16-18 year olds received accreditation. 40% of 16-18’s made progress through the categories of the Youth Engagement & Progression Framework. 24% of participants 16-18 moved into Further Educations and 20% of participants 11-16 increased their attendance at school. A wide range of soft outcomes were also achieved that made an important impact in terms of providing participants with a basis on which to re-engage, develop skills that suited their interests and aspirations, and then progress towards more sustained engagement and hard outcomes.

Action in Caerau & Ely Communities First – Concrete Sheep Project
Concrete Sheep: Action for Caerau and Ely, Communities First.

Momentum Phase 2

Momentum Phase 2 - following the success of the Phase 1 and the positive impact it had on the young people who took part, in December 2014 Arts Council of Wales committed to funding a further 11 projects in Phase 2.

The projects were delivered between January and August 2015. This time the age range was extended to include young people aged 19-24. This phase was funded solely through Arts Council of Wales Lottery funding but a number of the projects also worked with Communities First partnerships.

During this phase we have engaged a total of 314 participants, compared to our target of 234. All projects have delivered at least two hard outcomes (and usually more) for participants. A total of 57% of all participants gained a qualification, while 60% of participants aged 11-16 improved their school attendance. A total of 36% of participants aged 16-24 moved from being NEET (not in employment education or training) to being in employment or education and 34% engaged in volunteering.


Both phases have been fully evaluated by Arad Research, please follow the links:

Evaluation of the Momentum programme – Phase 2: Executive Summary (226k)

Evaluation of the Momentum Programme – Phase 2: Final Report (637k)

Evaluation of the Momentum Pilot

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