£15 million of funding is available to support major culture and technology projects in towns and cities across Northern England, the government has announced.
The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will support projects that encourage sustainable cultural and creative regeneration in the North of England and benefit areas that have historically had low levels of cultural and creative investment. As such, it will make grants of up to £4 million to support major culture and tech capital projects.
The fund will build on next year’s Great Exhibition of the North, which will be held in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer and is a £5 million government-funded exhibition to showcase the best of Northern art, design and innovation. The fund is also designed to help pave the way for future investment in the Northern Powerhouse: the government’s ambition to bring together the cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England and Wales to become a powerhouse for the economy.
Projects supported by the new fund could include opening a new tech start-up centre or renovating live music venues and should increase opportunities for people to experience, benefit and contribute to culture and creativity.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:
“This £15 million fund is a fantastic chance for towns and cities to develop inspirational projects that could have a transformative local effect – particularly in communities that have seen less cultural or creative investment in the past.
“We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North, and this fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”
The first round of bids has a deadline of 30th November, and will be coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships in Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Humber, Lancashire, Leeds City Region, Liverpool City Region, North East, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley, York and North Yorkshire and East Riding.
The successful projects will be announced in March 2018. A further round of funding may follow if all the available funds have not been committed.
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