Government focuses on regional growth, with launch of £20m culture fund
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Government focuses on regional growth, with launch of £20m culture fund

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Britain's minister for arts, Michael Ellis, has launched a £20m fund for culture, heritage and the creative industries to benefit towns and cities across England.

Called the Cultural Development Fund, areas in England will be able to bid for up to £7m in funding for a number of projects aimed at helping regeneration, creating jobs and maximising the impact of investment. This will include projects such as new spaces for creative businesses, bringing historic buildings back into use or redeveloping museums and art galleries.

The initiative, says the government, is an alternative approach to funding for the cultural and creative industries, with finances going toward geographical locations rather than a specific venue or craft.

"Cultural investment can have a transformative impact on communities," said Ellis.

"Creativity, culture and heritage are what makes places special for local people and visitors alike. But they also help attract inward investment, with businesses drawn to vibrant, exciting towns and cities.

"This fund gives more places the chance to harness the unique power of culture to regenerate communities, create jobs and boost tourism."

The change in funding format comes following Hull's year as City of Culture in 2017, which attracted more than £3bn of investment and created over 800 jobs. The government says that it anticipates the new approach will allow smaller towns and cities to replicate the huge success of Hull and other creative hubs established across the country.

The fund will be administered through Arts Council England. Bids from local areas, says the Arts Council, must maximise potential economic growth and productivity, strengthen local leadership in culture and the creative industries and help to enhance creative skills.

"Our world-leading creative industries benefit from centres of production excellence up and down the country," said Art Council chief executive, Darren Henley.

"The Cultural Development Fund will help to build on the creativity that’s at the core of our arts, heritage and tech organisations in these towns and cities. We’re looking forward to working with DCMS to spark a real difference in people’s lives through this new investment."

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Britain's minister for arts, Michael Ellis, has launched a £20m fund for culture, heritage and the creative industries to benefit towns and cities across England.
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