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£1m boost for youth arts and culture in Wolverhampton

Almost £1million is set to be invested in arts and culture activities for young people in Wolverhampton.

A partnership of local organisations – led by Newhampton Arts Centre – has secured funding from Arts Council England that will be spent on a host of events over the next three years.

The bid, called ‘Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture,’ includes plans for festivals, art trails and career opportunities and has been designed in partnership with young people from the city.

It was submitted by a partnership of organisations including Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton Music Service, LearnPlay Foundation, Gazebo TIE and the City of Wolverhampton Council.

The partnership secured £846,940 funding from the Arts Council England Place Partnership Fund, with additional funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund bringing the total to £996,000.

Plans include an annual ‘Same Difference’ youth festival, the ‘Big Sing’ music project for Year 3 and Year 7 pupils, a visual arts trail co-designed with young people and local artists, and pathways to creative careers, encouraging 18 to 25-year-olds to have a career in the creative industries.

Around 1,500 young people will be involved with co-designing and producing the package of activities which will engage with more than 23,000 children over the three years.

Trevelyan Wright, Chief Executive of Newhampton Arts Centre, said: “This is great news for young people in the city. Our proposal contained a very exciting programme of events and training programmes that will create a host of new opportunities for young people to get involved in cultural activities, pursue their passions, and develop new skills.

“Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton Music Service, Gazebo TIE and LearnPlay Foundation together represent many art-forms, from music and theatre to digital and gaming. It’s very exciting to be able to work together on such an ambitious project and make a real difference to the lives of young people in Wolverhampton.

“We’re delighted that Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture has been awarded funding by Arts Council England and we all look forward to starting the work.”

Councillor Chris Burden, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “This funding is brilliant news for children and young people in Wolverhampton.

“We have a fantastic arts and culture offer in the city but, along with our partners, we want to broaden it to reach and engage with younger people. The Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture bid will allow us to do this, and help us deliver on our promise to give children and young people the best start in life.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We’re delighted to be investing more that £846,000, through the National Lottery Place Partnership Fund, to benefit children and young people throughout Wolverhampton over the next three years.

“Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture promises to provide a range of arts and cultural activities, designed by young people for young people. This will give them the opportunity to develop new skills, take part in creative experiences locally and in turn open up careers in the arts and creative industries; meaning the benefits will continue long beyond the life of the project.”

An artist performs at the Same Difference festival, more of which will now be staged thanks to the successful Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture bid.

An artist performs at the Same Difference festival, more of which will now be staged thanks to the successful Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture bid.

The popular Same Difference festival provides a wide range of activities for children and young people.


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