PM announces £3 million to support creative projects in the Northern Powerhouse

A new £3 million fund to support creative and cultural organisations across the Northern Powerhouse has been announced by the Prime Minister today.

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The funding, which follows an Industrial Strategy sector deal for the creative industries earlier this year, will mean arts projects and enterprises which support their local communities, in areas including Cumbria, Manchester, Lancashire, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Yorkshire, can apply for £150,000 of government funding. This could include projects using theatre to improve child literacy or art workshops for disabled people or the elderly.

This follows the announcement earlier in the year that the government will commit £11 million through the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund to support three major cultural projects in Blackpool, Bradford and the Lake District. Both funds will help build a legacy for the Great Exhibition of the North: showcasing the very best of art and design in the region.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at No 10 where she welcomed publishers, artists, actors, directors of art galleries and theatres and craftspeople to celebrate the contribution of creative industries to all parts of the UK. To showcase the sector’s success, companies including Warner Bros, bespoke shoe makers Carréducker, furniture designers Angus Ross, denim manufacturer Hiut Denim and Mourne Textiles exhibited their products in Downing Street.

Speaking to the audience at the reception, which included guests from Universal Music, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, Pinewood Studios and the National Theatre, the Prime Minister praised the creative industries which contribute £92 billion to the UK economy, providing work for more than two million people right across the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Our creative industries are at the heart of what makes Britain great, from the big screen to the local gallery. Our films captivate audiences the world over, our fashion designers surprise and delight, our architects are shaping skylines and cityscapes on every continent. In publishing, in music, in advertising and more, every day our creative industries fly the flag for Britain on the global stage.

Today, I’m delighted to announce a £3 million fund that will provide a new source of finance for creative and cultural organisations across the Northern Powerhouse. Offering a mix of grants and loans, the social investment fund will be open to non-profit, community-based organisations that deliver a positive social impact as part of our modern industrial strategy.

Arts Minister Michael Ellis said:

Britain’s creative industries are an economic and cultural powerhouse that is recognised around the world.

This new fund is another vote of confidence in the sector that will develop future talent, benefit communities and provide a lasting legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North.

The new fund builds on the £150 million invested by government and industry through the ambitious Industrial Strategy deal for the creative industries, spreading success and making the sector fit to face the future.

The power of culture and creative industries to boost economic growth is evident across the country. In Hull nearly 800 jobs have been created and almost £220 million invested in Hull’s tourism and cultural sectors since the city was named UK City of Culture 2017.

Before attending the event, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK and Ireland Josh Berger said:

Warner Bros. is proud to be a part of Britain’s world-class creative industries sector as a major investor in film, television, video games, theatre, and production facilities. Today’s reception celebrates the growth and innovation of the industry and demonstrates the government’s continued support for the incredible creative talent we have across the UK.

Deborah Carré & James Ducker, Directors of Carréducker said:

We were thrilled to be invited to Number 10 this afternoon and feel it is a validation of our hard work over the last 14 years. We think that small to medium sized businesses like Carréducker are a vital drivers of the creative industries in the UK and their contribution to the economy is proven, both in the domestic and international markets where our products and services are sold

Carréducker and businesses like ours help to give the UK its reputation in the world as a centre of excellence for both design and craft. Creativity is a vital driver of British industry and we are delighted that it is being recognised in this way.

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