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£2.7m boost for future of the arts

COMMUNITY SPIRIT Dewsburys annual Spirit event is an example of the kind of event which the cash will support.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT Dewsburys annual Spirit event is an example of the kind of event which the cash will support.

A vision for the future of the art scene in North Kirklees has been laid out.

It is hoped a £2.7m investment from the Arts Council England will see the arts become part of the fabric of our district.

The Arts Council has commissioned a Kirklees Consortium, comprising Lawrence Batley Theatre, Batley Festival Group and Kirklees Council’s creative economy team, to increase residents’ involvement with the arts, either as participants or audience members.

The programme, which will run until the end of 2016, will see more events, performances and exhibitions in the area. Support will be provided to amateur arts groups, professional artists and promoters and talented young people.

Adele Poppleton, creative economy manager at Kirklees Council, told a meeting of Dewsbury’s Area Committee that North Kirklees had been singled out for investment because engagement with the arts was low.

In 2011, only 48 per cent of people in our area went to at least one arts event and regular arts attendance is less than half the rate of South Kirklees.

Ms Poppleton stressed that the programme was not a grants pot or community arts project, but was simply about getting people involved in the arts because they enjoy them.

A business plan was approved in January and a project team is now being recruited. It is hoped local ‘scene makers’ will influence the programme, which will see artist led workshops with community groups, cultural trips and gigs and festivals spring up.

Contact adele.poppleton@kirklees.gov.uk or victoria@thelbt.org if you want to get involved.

 

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