Cause UK helped the media launch of the £3m Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund at Wakefield Theatre today for our client, the Key Fund. Attending were Arts Minister Michael Ellis with CEO Matt Smith (pictured), with inspiring talks from Sheffield songwriter Eliot Kennedy and arts organisation, East Street Arts.
It’s an incredible opportunity for arts entrepreneurs to make the most of the grant/loan, with up to 33% grant. With thanks to Richard Doughty for the photos.
Full release below.
£3M Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund Launched
Key Fund, the north’s leading investor in social and community enterprise, has launched a new £3 million Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund at Wakefield Theatre (Thurs 21 March).
Enterprises across the Northern Powerhouse areas will be eligible for blended investments (loan and grant) of up to £150,000. The fund is open to creative and cultural organisations that provide a meaningful social impact in their local communities.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis said: “Arts and culture can play a vital role in strengthening communities and improving people’s lives. The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will give institutions access to finance so they can deliver innovative projects that use the arts to make a real difference across the Northern Powerhouse.”
The North’s leading cultural organisations came together to celebrate the launch. Representatives from local councils, the Arts Council and Creative United also attended.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “The Northern Powerhouse has a rich cultural history and this is an investment in its creative future. Support from this new £3 million share of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will enable more people in communities across the North to benefit from the life-changing impact of the arts and boost investment in this important sector of our economy.
“The Fund is already having a real impact in places like Bradford where building work will start this summer to transform the city’s former Odeon cinema into a live entertainment and events venue due to open next year after the project received £4 million and recently secured planning permission.”
The social investment fund will run for two years from April 2019 and is open to a wide range of creative and cultural community/social enterprise organisations. Small or medium commercial businesses from industries such as crafts, design, fashion and art that can demonstrate positive social outcomes can also apply.
The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund has been funded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), as part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition in the North.
Matt Smith, Chief Executive of Key Fund, said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential of the fund to support creative and cultural activity, whilst also helping to increase social impact in disadvantaged communities across the North.”
Case studies of creative enterprises benefitting from Key Fund investment also presented at the launch including Leeds-based East Street Arts and Doncaster’s Higher Rhythm.
Key Fund will partner fellow social investor, Social Investment Business, for its work in the North East, and Creative United, a community interest company that works to help arts and creative businesses grow.
Also speaking at the launch was Sheffield songwriter, Eliot Kennedy. Alongside producing and writing global hits and Grammy-winning songs with global artists such as Bryan Adams and Aretha Franklin, Eliot has worked with the Key Fund to support his work with new artists and talent development schemes at his Sheffield studio, Steelworks.
Eliot Kennedy said: “I’m living proof to young artists that you can achieve great things, living and working in the north. If you’re a northerner you never lose touch with that identity, it’s soulful. People treat you as you treat them. But it’s not easy to break into the industry; the young artists I meet often don’t have access to finance or opportunities, so this fund is an initiative I wholeheartedly champion.”
Notes to Editors
Organisations can apply to the Fund via https://thekeyfund.co.uk/
- The fund will cover the following Local Enterprise Partnership regions: 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.
Wider context of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund
- The £15 million Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund was launched by Government in August 2017 to build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North.
- In March 2018, Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, announced that Blackpool would receive £4 million to create a museum celebrating the town’s history as the UK’s first mass seaside holiday resort; £4 million will be used to transform the vacant former Bradford Odeon cinema into a 4,000 capacity live music and events venue; and nearly £3.3 million will be used to enhance the visitor experience at cultural attractions across the Lake District.