Cultural Spring art project gets extra £1million to spend in Sunderland

A popular arts project has secured £1million extra funding to extend its work in Sunderland.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:23 pm

The Cultural Spring has increased participation in arts and culture activities in the two local authority areas since 2014.

Its workshops, performances and support for community-based arts projects are funded through Arts Council England’s (ACE) Creative People and Places programme (CPP).

For its next three-year programme, Cultural Spring will work solely in Sunderland. An ACE survey of arts engagement in South Tyneside revealed the number of people taking part in arts activities had risen to a point where the borough was no longer eligible for CPP funding.

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Fireflight was a Cultural Spring community project which helped launch The Fire Station in Sunderland.

South Tyneside should now qualify for different funding streams after being announced as a Priority Funding Area by ACE.

The latest grant brings Cultural Spring’s total CPP funding to £5.5million since 2014. The new Sunderland programme begins in April 2022.

Emma Horsman, project director of Cultural Spring, said: “We’re thrilled to have been given this huge vote of confidence by ACE and look forward to continuing and extending our work in Sunderland.

“We plan to be continue with our seasonal workshop programmes, online and in Wearside venues, with our Your Art Community Commissions, and with our popular Go and See visits, which give local people the opportunity to experience arts and culture outside of their neighbourhoods and communities.

The annual Summer Streets music festival in Sunderland started as a Cultural Spring project.

“We also aim to deliver research and development projects with communities that could lead to potential large-scale commissions.

“For the past seven years half of our delivery has been in South Tyneside, and we’re pleased to see engagement rates in the borough have risen. Hopefully we’ve played a part in that increase.

“However, we remain passionate about helping to increase arts participation in South Tyneside yet further. To do so we’ll be working through our newly-established Cultural Spring Charity.

“South Tyneside will also hugely benefit from enhanced investment after being named as a Priority Place by ACE.”

Graeme Thompson, chair of the Cultural Spring steering board, said: “The Cultural Spring has made a real impact on the cultural landscape of Sunderland and South Tyneside, and we’re delighted our work will continue in Sunderland for a further three years.

“We’re also proud that our work in South Tyneside will continue through our charity arm."

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