Sunderland children’s access to arts and culture given £1million boost

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Young people in poverty can be helped by the arts

A new three-year programme of arts and culture to help children and young people living in poverty in Sunderland will launch next year. The Culture Start programme, supported by a £1.196million Place Partnership award from Arts Council England through the National Lottery, will benefit over 8,000 children and young people living in poverty on Wearside.

Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball, left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld (centre, back) and Cllr Linda Williams, right, at a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington.Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball, left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld (centre, back) and Cllr Linda Williams, right, at a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington.
Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball, left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld (centre, back) and Cllr Linda Williams, right, at a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington. | 3rd party

Activities will be brought by organisations including The Cultural Spring, Sunderland Empire, We Make Culture, Seventeen Nineteen, Sunderland Music Hub and Sunderland All Together Consortium, as well as creative organisations, museums, galleries and theatre companies from across the country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There will be a free-to-access creative programme including term-time and holiday activities in schools, youth and community settings and a regular under-12s programme of free culture clubs, including for children needing more support; with special educational needs or disabilities.

The free programme will develop skills and career pathways, offer work experience, volunteering and summer school opportunities and more.

Sunderland Culture will lead the Culture Start partnership, bringing activities into community venues across Wearside, as well as in some of the city’s main cultural venues.

The initiative for the partnership came from Sunderland MAC Trust and Sunderland Culture. Partners include Together for Children, Children North East, Gentoo, InspirED (Sunderland Local Cultural Education Partnership), North East Youth, Sunderland College and the University of Sunderland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The £1.196million grant is a major funding boost for the Culture Start programme, which will cost £1.55million to deliver. More funding has been pledged by Sunderland Local Cultural Education Partnership and the university.

From left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld, Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball and Cllr Linda Williams watching a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington.From left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld, Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball and Cllr Linda Williams watching a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington.
From left, Arts Council England’s Nicolas Baumfeld, Sunderland Culture’s Rebecca Ball and Cllr Linda Williams watching a Creative You crafts workshop for young people at Arts Centre Washington. | 3rd party

The grant requires match funding which Sunderland Culture and the MAC Trust are pursuing.

Paul Callaghan, chair of the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust said: “We are delighted that Arts Council England is being so supportive of Sunderland's Culture Start programme and we would also like to thank the Trusts and Foundations who have pledged to support this vital work.

“The initiative for the project came from our deep concern about the rise in child poverty in Sunderland and the North East, with so many children and young people in our city living in poverty.

"When money is so tight it is very difficult for families to give their kids access to music, dance and drama in a way that other families would take for granted."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.