Communities in the North East will receive a share of the £75m culture fund

COMMUNITIES in the North East have been placed on a priority list for cultural funding as part of a £75m plan to improve areas outside London.

Darlington, County Durham and Stockton-on-Tees are among 10 places in the North East that will be placed on a priority list for cultural funding as part of the government’s leveling campaign.

The news is part of an announcement made today (Wednesday) by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. By 2025, all areas should have received funding.

The government says the increased financial support will ensure a better distribution of arts funding, help level the country and increase accessibility and opportunity in areas that have been culturally underserved in years past.

Cities and communities across the North East are among more than 100 “Leveling Up for Culture Places” that will be targeted.

Other local authority areas included in the list are Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Read more: Government reveals how it thinks it’s leveling the North East

Cultural investment outside London through the Arts Council is expected to reach almost £250m by 2025, equivalent to a 19% increase by the final year of the review period spending. Arts Council England (ACE), which will oversee the distribution of funds, will see its overall budget increase over the period.

The government pledged to dramatically increase cultural spending outside the capital in its Leveling Up white paper. ACE currently spends £21 per person in London and on average £6 per person in the rest of England.

The North East is already home to a number of organizations that receive ACE support, including Theater Hullabaloo, Darlington, Beamish, County Durham and Northern Stage, Newcastle.

New data has revealed that Durham will attract 15 million visitors, bring thousands of new jobs and see significant support for the region’s upgrade program if it wins its bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025.

Organizers say City of Culture status and planned activities across the county would help create a lasting legacy of jobs, new creative industries and a visitor economy that will continue to grow.

The council today submitted its application for the next stage of the competition with lead partner Durham University on behalf of Culture Durham – a partnership of organizations who say they are united by their belief in the power of the culture of transform lives.

Uniquely, the bid aims to secure Durham’s title – both county and city – and if successful, it would be the first ever county bid to achieve UK City of Culture status. .

Read more: Advocacy to invest in northern culture by leveling engagement

Some of the highlights from previous Festival of Thrift events. It celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Photos: Echo of the North

The Festival of Thrift, in Redcar and Cleveland, is one of many local initiatives that will benefit from the new funding.

Stella Hall and Emma Whitenstall, its co-directors, said its success was helped by government funding.

“Festival of Thrift is a CIC firmly rooted in the Tees Valley and over the past 10 years, with the support of Arts Council England, we have grown from an annual weekend event to an organized year-round with a focus on sustainability and extending locally from our Redcar home across the UK and internationally to audiences from all walks of life,” they said.

“As we embark on our next chapter, we are really excited about Let’s Create and the new investment opportunities available to cultural organizations like ours that provide vital cultural services outside of London.

“Applying for National Portfolio Organization (NPO) status means we can develop new jobs, training and employability skills for people in our local community, as well as provide representative and appropriate cultural opportunities.

“We believe that the voice of local communities is a powerful catalyst for climate action and essential for the development of social growth in our northern cities.

The Northern Echo: Annabel Turpin, General Manager of Arc, Stockton.  Image: The Echo of the NorthAnnabel Turpin, General Manager of Arc, Stockton. Image: The Echo of the North

Meanwhile, Annabel Turpin, Managing Director of ARC Stockton, said: “Not-for-profit investing means we can commit to providing our communities with exceptional cultural experiences, creating jobs and supporting the growth of industries. creativity at the local level.

“It increases the pride of people in the region and connects our communities, giving people here the same opportunities as anywhere else in the UK.

“It has helped put Tees Valley on the map for its cultural ambitions, helping us and others to realize them.”

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay added: “As I have always known, the North East is home to fantastic cultural institutions and brilliantly creative people.

“But historically, the Northeast hasn’t benefited as much as other regions from funding from taxpayers across the country. That’s what the changes we’re making today will address.

“We want to help our existing cultural organizations continue to thrive and grow, whilst further unleashing the artistic passion and creative brilliance we all know in the North East of England.”

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