Chester Visual Arts is a registered charity, and previously has been almost entirely funded by philanthropic gifts from individuals, including significant donations from its Board members.

Recently, it secured support from Arts Council England and key local trusts – an important recognition of the quality of its work and ambition. CVA has also benefited from an exceptional amount of voluntary and in-kind support for its work, from Board members to gallery invigilators.

However it cannot continue to operate on kindness alone.

CVA must now develop a wider network of partners and secure sufficient funding to safeguard its achievements, manage transition and continue its work. As the charity becomes established, it will develop a diversified plan for income generation. Over the medium-term this will include securing support from the public sector, local and regional businesses, private individuals, and charitable trusts whose aims are aligned with CVA’s.  

With further financial support, CVA will:

  • Present more world-class contemporary art exhibitions in the region
  • Develop a wider network of individual and commercial partners to supplement existing relationships with Cheshire West and Chester Council, Marketing Cheshire, the University of Chester, Chester Cathedral and Grosvenor Estate
  • Strengthen its organisational resilience, create a professional infrastructure and appoint an Executive Director
  • Develop its existing fundraising strategy and a diversified plan for income generation
  • Develop a medium term visual arts centre in premises identified in Chester City centre
  • Develop a visitor base and deepen its community engagement by providing arts education within local and regional communities, schools, colleges and universities
  • Help deliver V&A Innovate teacher CPD in Cheshire, its national design and skills programme for schools
  • Create a supportive environment for emerging and established artists in the region
  • Support arts-led regeneration in the city’s historic district and enhance the city’s growing cultural significance
  • Enhance the lives of local residents through the visual arts and make Chester a better place to live and visit
  • Identify and develop a suitable permanent site for CVA’s operation as a creative visual arts centre and public gallery of growing national and international importance.


Every penny makes a difference and will enable us to realise these goals.


Chester Visual Arts is looking for volunteers to help support its activities.

Volunteers play a key role in supporting our work, from invigilating exhibitions to supporting our learning events and much more. 

Volunteering with CVA is a great way to build your experience working in the arts, meet like-minded people and support cultural activities in Chester. Full training would be provided.

For more information of how to get involved, please contact us:

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CVA is grateful for funding and project support that has been provided by:

The Tyrer Charitable Trust
Arts Council England
The Westminister Foundation
The Marjory Boddy Charitable Trust
The Sybil Charitable Trust