ARTS Council England has today announced that a total of £7.9 million will be invested in nine Creative People and Places projects in the East and South East of England over the next three years – made possible thanks to National Lottery players – to deliver more grassroots-led cultural experiences in areas across England where involvement in arts and culture is below the national average.
The projects to receive funding are:
- BasildON, Basildon
- Freshly Greated, Great Yarmouth
- MarketPlace, Fenland and Forest Heath
- Peterborough Presents, Peterborough
- Revoluton, Luton
- START: Thurrock, Thurrock (new)
- Creative Playground, Crawley (new)
- Ideas Test, Swale and Medway
- Home Slough, Slough
Since 2012, Creative People and Places projects have brought together community, grassroots, and cultural organisations as partners to take the lead in choosing, creating, and taking part in arts and cultural activities that their local communities want and need.
Up until 2021, there were over 7.4million people engaging with Creative People and Places projects, 83% of which involved people that do not regularly engage with arts and culture. The far-reaching impact of the programme continues through enabling over 17,404 volunteers and over 1000 local partners to take part – including a haulage firm, a rugby club and several housing associations – all helping to put creativity at the heart of local communities.
This new round of funding means that every National Lottery ticket purchase contributes to more villages, towns, and cities up and down the country being able to thrive through a collaborative approach to culture – from Wigan to Walsall, from Rochdale to the New Forest, and from Boston to Basildon.
A total of 39 Creative People and Places projects, 11 of which are brand new, will be supported covering 56 local authority areas, taking total investment for the period between 2022 and 2025 to £38.3million, and total investment rising to £108million since inception of the programme in 2012 up to 2025.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Everyone, no matter where they are from, should be able to experience arts and culture. The fantastic Creative People and Place projects help make culture more accessible and strengthen bonds in local communities. I’m delighted that this £38.3 million funding will make sure more people across the whole of England have access to brilliant cultural and creative activities on their doorsteps.”
Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “These projects change villages, towns and cities for the better, helping people to lead happier, healthier lives. Our new investment means more people in more places across England will benefit from that magical spark of possibility, innovation and invention that only happens when culture and creativity becomes part of their daily lives.”
Hazel Edwards, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Our Creative People and Places projects provide us with an important opportunity to empower local communities across the region, giving them the power to choose what arts and culture they want to experience and how. Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re able to invest in the future of these exciting projects – including two new ones for the East and South East. This doesn’t just place local people at the helm when making decisions, but also ensures that arts and culture – and all the benefits they bring – can sit at the heart of creating exciting new opportunities for these communities.”
Stuart Wallace, Chair of Tilbury on the Thames Trust, said: “Tilbury on the Thames Trust, our consortium partners the Thurrock CVS, the Royal Opera House, Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions, Thurrock Council and all those who have supported our proposals are delighted that Thurrock will be joining the CPP family.
“The chance for local people to shape exciting arts and culture will ensure a new chapter in Thurrock’s story. It will also connect more to the joy and fulfilment that the arts can bring.
“Thurrock will now be energised by our motto ‘By Thames to All People of the World’ to forge a confident new arts-led narrative we can be proud of!”
START: Thurrock is an exciting new Creative People and Places project that will work to energise more than 84,800 residents through the creation of a new arts-led approach for the town. Inspired by the motto ‘By Thames to all peoples of the world’, they will empower local communities to form, write, tell and review their story over the next decade.