Funding boost for arts and culture in Whitley Bay

Arts and culture in Whitley Bay has received a major funding boost.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 06 June, 2019, 09:35
Whitley Bay is one of 14 communities to be selected for a Creative Civic Change programme to boost arts and culture. Picture by Paul Norris

The town has been selected for an ambitious three-year Creative Civic Change (CCC) programme of arts and culture.

Whitley Bay is one of only 14 communities around the country to benefit from the initiative, receiving £200,000.

The bid was co-designed by Whitley Bay Big Local and SALTo Arts Productions, with more than 80 local people contributing their ideas and ambitions to the bid process earlier this year.

The Creative Civic Change project will see local people taking the lead, using creativity to generate meaningful civic change in the area.

Whitley Bay and the other successful communities were chosen for their track record in using the arts and creativity to address social need and drive community cohesion in their area.

Big Local Chair Alan Dickinson said: “The CCC programme will build on the success of Whitley Bay’s carnival which was brought back to the town in 2014 in response to a local consultation.

“Big Local is hoping that this three year project will help to bring more local people together with established artists and performers to get involved in a wide range of creative ventures.

“Participants will have the chance to try something new, share their existing skills and work with other people in their community trying out new arts based activities that will be celebrated as part of the annual Carnival and other community events.”

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust, the Creative Civic Change programme is aimed at bringing artists and performers together with local people to transform their local area.

The Creative Civic Change programme will not only support people and communities to shape the places they live through creative methods, but will also explore how long term, resident led, place-based arts funding can enable communities to grow and develop at their own speed without imposing strict reporting or targets.

It will also give communities and arts and cultural organisations an opportunity to work in partnership, and help arts and community sectors, particularly funders in these sectors, to learn from a grass-roots approach to community arts projects.