Towns and cities across England will benefit from a new £20 million regional fund for culture, heritage and creative industries, launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis, on 21 June 2018 in London.
The Cultural Development Fund marks a new approach for government investment in culture and creative industries. Rather than investment going to a specific venue or artform, the funding will go to geographical locations, including cities or towns in rural areas. Areas will be able to bid for up to £7 million for a number of projects to help regeneration, create jobs and maximise the impact of investment, with the aim of growing local economies and increasing access to arts, heritage and the creative industries.
The fund also supports the Government’s Industrial Strategy by aiming to boost productivity in towns and cities across England and use creativity as a catalyst to make places more attractive to live, work and visit.
The power of culture to regenerate communities
Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said:
‘Cultural investment can have a transformative impact on communities. Creativity, culture and heritage is what makes places special for local people and visitors alike. But it also helps attract inward investment, with businesses drawn to vibrant, exciting towns and cities.
‘This fund gives more places the chance to harness the unique power of culture to regenerate communities, create jobs and boost tourism.’
The initiative comes after the success of Hull’s UK City of Culture award, which enabled the city to attract over £3 billion of investment and create 800 new jobs. The Cultural Development Fund also builds on the success of creative hubs launched by the Government and developed through growth and city deals, such as the Temple Quarter in Bristol in the South West of England.
The Government anticipates that this approach will allow smaller towns and cities to replicate the success of Hull and other creative hubs established across the country.
The Cultural Development Fund is part of the landmark Creative Industries Sector Deal, which will see more than £150 million jointly invested by Government and industry to help the country’s world-leading cultural and creative businesses thrive.
Information for applicants
- The Fund will be administered through Arts Council England (ACE). Bids from local areas must maximise potential economic growth and productivity, strengthen local leadership in culture and the creative industries and help to enhance creative skills.
- Calls for expressions of interest will run from 3 July to 15 August 2018, with full applications sought from 9 September to 19 October.
- Nine things you need to know about the Cultural Development Fund.
- For further details on the application process, including how to apply, visit Arts Council England’s website.
Darren Henley, Arts Council Chief Executive said:
‘Our world leading Creative Industries benefit from centres of production excellence up and down the country. The Cultural Development fund will help to build on the creativity that’s at the core of our arts, heritage and tech organisations in these towns and cities. We’re looking forward to working with DCMS to spark a real difference in people’s lives through this new investment.’