Schemes fight for share of £15m cultural fund

Five projects in the North West have been included in a shortlist of 11 vying for money from a £15m Government fund, aimed at supporting cultural and tech capital projects in areas which have typically had low levels of investment.

The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, announced earlier this year, will make grants of up to £4m available to support major culture and tech capital projects, put forward by the LEPs in each area.

The bids are:

  • Cheshire & Warrington: A bid to create a world-class cultural centre for children, young people and their families at Whitby Hall in Ellesmere Port, home of the Action Transport Theatre
  • Cumbria: Capital investment in Windermere Jetty, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum, and Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Museum.
  • Greater Manchester: A young people’s creative venue in Rochdale, providing performing and digital arts participation, performance, production and training
  • Lancashire: The Amuseum, Britain’s first museum telling the story of popular entertainment and Blackpool’s role in the UK’s creative industries
  • Liverpool City Region: Eureka! Merseyside, a cultural attraction on the Wirral waterfront to inspire young people to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and maths

Bids from outside the region included a National Centre for Imagination in Sunderland, four sculptural red chimneys in Sheffield, a railway heritage visitor centre in Tees Valley, and light installations on the North Yorkshire coast.

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “These hugely exciting bids demonstrate the scale of cultural ambition across the region, and reflect the great diversity of Northern towns and cities. This £15m fund will mean that as many people as possible benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North [taking place next year in Hull] and it is fantastic that so many communities have recognised the transformative potential of culture, design and innovation.”

The successful projects will be announced in March 2018.

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