Group which breathed new life into derelict Southwick site given major cash boost by Culture Recovery Fund

A CIC which has breathed new life into a derelict Southwick building, turning it into a colourful carnival-themed culture hub, has received a major cash boost from the Government.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 3:31 pm

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The Creative Seed CIC has been awarded £72,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help the struggling culture sector through the pandemic.

After 18 months of renovation works and an investment of £200,000, Carnival House opened its doors to the public for the first time in August.

Derelict for 17 years, the former St Hilda’s Parish Centre in The King’s Road is now a colourful multi-purpose site, which hosts subsidised arts workshops for all ages, performances, food and alcohol served at the Carnival Kitchen as well as function room hire.

Sandy and Garner Harris with the team on the opening of the Carnival House

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Now, the Culture Secretary has announced it’s one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

The Creative Seed, which also has a base in South Shields and delivers carnivals and festivals nationally, will receive £72,000 of the fund.

The amount will help the group to continue its work to encourage those from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds to engage with the arts, and to allow local performers and artists the chance to showcase their talent.

Creative Seed director, Sandy Harris, said: “The arts have always been at the absolute heart of what we do, and with so many artists and creatives feeling overlooked during this pandemic, with lack of support and even being told to retrain, it is more important than ever that we keep our mission alive.

Inside The Creative Seed Carnival House, Southwick

"Over the last few months we have gone from strength to strength, providing a more diverse events programme, working with the community of Southwick. This funding will allow us to continue to provide this much-needed lifeline, and formulate a new engagement plan, both digitally and face-to-face, for the future of The Creative Seed.”

It’s also been announced that Sunderland Culture will receive £341,000 of the CRF and Independent in Holmeside will receive £91,000.

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The once derelict building has been transformed

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