Northern LEPs invited to bid for share of £15m cultural regeneration fund

A new fund that aims to extend the regional legacy of next year’s Great Exhibition of the North by encouraging investment in Northern tech, creative and cultural industries has been launched by the Government.

The £15m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will provide towns and cities with the opportunity to bid for grants of up to £4m on projects which support their respective creative industries and fuel opportunities for locals to experience more culture.

Announced by Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, the new fund forms part of the Government’s inaugural Great Exhibition of the North taking place in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer.

The £5m government-funded exhibition will showcase the best of Northern art, design and innovation, and complement efforts to drive more investment into the Northern Powerhouse.

Following the launch of the fund, Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry commented: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one, and this £15 million fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.

“We’ve already invested over £3.4 billion for projects to boost local economies in the Northern Powerhouse and this latest funding will help make sure the Great Exhibition of the North creates a legacy for years to come.”

The first round of bids for the cash pot are set to be coordinated by a line-up of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships including 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.

Projects which encourage ‘sustainable’ creative and cultural development in the Northern regions will be priorities, with a particular focus on those which benefit areas that have not traditionally been well served by cultural investment in the past.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley described the fund as a ‘fantastic’ opportunities for towns and cities to develop their own ‘inspirational’ cultural projects.

She added: “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.”

Successful projects will be announced in March 2018 with the potential for further rounds of funding if any of the cash pot is left over.

Full Bdaily article

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