The Arts Council operates at arm's length from Government, according to the criteria set out in their Royal Charter:
“to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts (and) to increase accessibility of the arts to the public in England.”
In February 2007 the Arts Council said it would give particular priority to:
achieving a portfolio of effective and thriving organisations;
increasing engagement in the arts across the population;
delivering greater arts activity and presence in emerging priority places; and
delivering the recommendations of Turning Point, the Arts Council's strategic review of the visual arts sector.