Fenland is below the national average when it comes to art
- Credit: Sarah Allison
Fenland has been boosted by almost £1m because it has been labelled an area that is “significantly below the national average” when it comes to being creative and artistic.
The Fens is one of three areas in the country to benefit from Arts Council England funding - the other two are Luton and Slough.
Arts Development East Cambridge for Fenland has been awarded £964,218 to develop art projects across the area.
An Arts Council spokesman said: “The money has been awarded as part of a creative people and places programme which focuses on parts of the country where peoples’ involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average.
“It takes a new approach by allowing communities and grass roots organisations to play a leading part in inspiring others to get involved with the arts.”
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Ideas and projects will be delivered by groups such as arts organisations, museums, libraries, local authorities and commercial organisations working with grass roots organisations.
Hedley Swain, Area Director South East, Arts Council England, said: “Creative people and places is designed to empower communities to take the lead in shaping local arts provision.
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“While increasing participation from those in the local area, these projects will have a real impact in attracting new people to the arts. We are looking forward to working with the successful applicants and are excited to see their ambition realised.”
To date, the Arts Council has awarded a total of around £34 million for the creative people and places programme for projects that will come into fruition over the next three years.
Locally the money will be used by ADeC to develop Market Place, a three year project where local people regularly take part in the arts.
The project will run across seven market towns in Fenland and Forest Heath. These are Wisbech, Whittlesey, Chatteris, March, Mildenhall, Brandon and Newmarket.
In each town ADeC will establish groups drawn from across the community who will receive extensive training and support to develop and manage their own unique arts programmes.
There will be funding to stage free large scale public events as well as to establish a regular programme of shows that engage new audiences. These events will build upon existing activities and celebrations with libraries, museums, schools and market places all being utilised to ensure a strong connection with local heritage and people.
Nathan Jones from ADeC said: “This project has the local community at its core. This will increase the potential for leaving a lasting arts legacy in each location.”