Emergency arts funding secured (3) copyright R.Cherry copy

Arts Council England funding for a number of the county’s creative charities

Emergency funding to help support local artists has been successfully secured from Arts Council England (ACE). This is thanks to a collaborative effort by the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Borough Council and a number of creative charities.

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 COVID-19.

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. Also, an additional £10,000 small business grant was separately approved and funded by Luton Borough Council.

The University provided application support for two other arts organisations in Central Bedfordshire which successfully received ACE emergency funding worth £54,070. This means 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 will use the emergency funding to help with essential costs. This includes business rent and staff wages. It will also be used to facilitate presenting their work digitally and virtually during lockdown.

Moriam Grillo, director of Butterfly Project CIC said: “

“ACE Emergency funding will enable the Butterfly Project to continue its work supporting vulnerable women who suffer further isolation and greater difficulties due to COVID-19.

“We have not only been able to create new services in partnership with NHS Recovery College but have also been able to devise new output meeting needs where they are.”

Lauren Segal, creative administrator at Next Generation Youth Theatre, said:

“Without this support the future of NGYT was not certain and this has helped us to continue to sustain our existing work. We have been able to use time to think of the future and the ways in which NGYT can develop and strengthen inclusivity, representation and accessibility for all.”

The Centre for Academic Partnerships initiates, develops and sustains 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.beds.ac.uk/arts-and-culture-projects/.