The Creative Redditch consortium has met Arts Council England’s deadline to submit a £1.5 million bid for Lottery funding under the Creative People and Places programme, in competition with other Midlands communities. Creative People and Places is about more people choosing, creating and taking part in brilliant art experiences in the places where they live. This money, together with match funding from other sources, will help to fund a £2 million programme of creative opportunities in Redditch.
The consortium, led by Bromsgrove & Redditch Network (B.A.R.N), also includes: Arts in Redditch; Severn Arts; Redditch Borough Council and Jestaminute Theatre Company. Other key partners were involved in developing the bid, including Kingfisher Centre, Maon Ltd, and Redditch BID. These and other partners will be involved in developing and managing the programme if the bid is successful.
The bid, which was launched with a well-attended consultation event in the Kingfisher Centre on 6th February, addresses the low level of participation in creative activity in Redditch, identified by Arts Council England in recent research. Further consultation with local people – online and in the Kingfisher Centre – has helped the consortium to shape this bid. Success would help all our communities to get involved in developing and running new creative events, make use of under-utilised spaces in the town, and build on a long-established interest and engagement with musical theatre, dance and visual arts which is a positive feature of the town.
Arts Council England will determine in July whether or not Redditch goes through to the next round, and if we are successful, further planning will start with an extensive consultation exercise with communities across the town, to firm up proposals for the final push.
Commenting on this funding bid, Gary Roskell, Chief Executive of B.A.R.N. said “This could make such a difference to the people of Redditch. This is about increasing opportunities, especially for people not involved in the arts. But our consultation taught us something else – that a lot of Redditch people are already being creative but don’t realise it, or want to be creative but don’t think they can. If we’re successful that’s exactly what we want to tackle.”