Emergency funding to help support local artists has been successfully secured from Arts Council England (ACE) thanks to a collaborative effort by the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Borough Council and a number of creative charities.
Since the UK lockdown was implemented, members of the Council and the University have been working in partnership with The Culture Trust, Revoluton Arts, UKCCA and Tangled Feet, to offer emergency support to local artists and practitioners who have found themselves financially affected by Covid19.
Clocking up 45 hours of key support work, Bedfordshire’s Arts & Culture team – part of the Centre for Academic Partnerships (CAP) – has helped with the submission of 31 Luton-based bids to ACE. To date, 84% of these bids have been successful, receiving a total of ￡243,135 in funding, as well as an additional ￡10,000 small business grant which was separately approved and funded by Luton Borough Council.
Additionally, the University provided application support for two other arts organisations in Central Bedfordshire which successfully received ACE emergency funding worth ￡54,070, meaning a grand total of ￡307,206 will be injected into the county’s creative industries.
Dr Gordon Mellor, Associate Dean of Academic Partnerships at CAP, said: “This is a fine illustration of the key role that the University of Bedfordshire plays in facilitating access to Arts and Culture funding and support, reaching out into our communities, and contributing to the social good in these extraordinary times.”
The 31 local artists and organisations who will benefit from this emergency funding will use the money to help with essential costs – including business rent and staff wages – and to facilitate the presentation of their work digitally and virtually during lockdown.
Ami Rix, Director of community interest company, Little Red Creative Studios, said of the emergency funding: “After two years of building Little Red it is with relief and gratitude that I have been fortunate to be fully supported with emergency funding from both Luton Borough Council and Arts Council England. This has allowed us to continue with our commitment to work in partnership with the many creative individuals and organisations in Luton.
“A huge thank you to Michaela Nutt at Luton Borough Council, Gareth Holland at Capital & Regional and an extra special thank you to Emma Gill at the University of Bedfordshire for her endless support and encouragement throughout the entire funding process.”
The Centre for Academic Partnerships initiates, develops and sustains high-quality partnerships that reflect the University of Bedfordshire’s mission and values. Its Arts & Culture team collaborates with a variety of regional, national and international cross-sector organisations every year, to help widen art participation opportunities and to enable the community’s current and budding artists to thrive.
The team also works across the University’s academic schools and professional departments to mobilise and share knowledge for the betterment and growth of the local creative and educational sectors. To read more about their projects, visit: www.voltasgec.com/arts-and-culture-projects/
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