Derby secures funding to boost city’s cultural future

Published: 9 November 2022

derby feste 2021 Chorus.

Chorus by Ray Lee at Derby Feste 2021, a key cultural event. Photo by Graham Whitmore.

Derby City Council's Cabinet is set to approve receipt of a financial boost to help shape and enhance its cultural offering.

The Council has been awarded £15,000 Arts Council England funding to develop a partnership which will build on the progress made during the previous City of Culture bid. Cabinet will be discussing the proposal at next week's meeting on Wednesday 16 November.

The money will fund the development of a new cross-sector cultural partnership that will look at the best way to achieve Derby’s cultural ambitions and strengthen the foundations for a credible bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2029.

The Strategic Cultural Partnership will become part of a national network established by Arts Council England, demonstrating Derby’s commitment to culture. This will give confidence to funders and potential partners who can help drive forward cultural innovation in the city and therefore deliver social and economic benefits for Derby.

The good news comes as Arts Council England also confirmed investment in nine of Derby’s leading cultural organisations. In total, they will receive just over £3 million a year for the next three years.

Organisations that will benefit from increased investment include Baby People, the UK’s first dedicated hip-hop school which uses art and culture to engage and support the needs of its communities. The £113,000 annual funding will support them to deliver more work with children and young people from under-represented and less engaged communities.

Derby Museums will receive £550,099 a year to ensure the continuation of the successful UK Creative Community Fellows programme in partnership with US-based National Art Strategies, and to support emerging arts leaders and practitioners to make change in their communities through culture.

Meanwhile, the East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN), will receive £234,998 per year. The network supports Derby, Leicester and Nottingham Caribbean Carnivals and the increased investment will support the extension the carnival network.

Other Derby organisations to secure Arts Council England funding for the next three years are:

  • Animate Projects
  • Artcore
  • Déda
  • QUAD
  • Derby Theatre
  • Sinfonia Viva Chamber Orchestra

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Derby City Council cabinet member for Finance, Digital and Culture, said:

It is fantastic news that the £15,000 Arts Council England funding will enable the development of a new Strategic Cultural Partnership for Derby. The partnership will build on the legacy of our City of Culture bid and work to deliver the city’s cultural ambitions.

Alongside this, the Arts Council England funding awarded to Derby’s cultural organisations will enable them to continue the wonderful work they do, engaging with communities and making this a vibrant and culturally diverse city.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said:

We’re delighted to unveil our ambitious new portfolio reaching more people in more places across Derby and Derbyshire than ever before.

The area already boasts a vibrant cultural scene with an international reputation for excellence and we look forward to supporting more opportunities for even more communities across the region to experience creativity on their doorsteps.

Derby will also benefit from a successful bid for a share of the Government’s Create Growth Programme. The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) led a consortium of regional partners to secure £1.2 million to accelerate growth, create jobs and stimulate investment in the East Midlands. The regional project will run across Leicester and Leicestershire, Derby and Derbyshire, Rutland and Greater Lincolnshire.

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