Arts Council England awards £1 million to Bexley and Thamesmead

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Arts Council England has today announced an investment of £1 million for the borough of Bexley as part of the Creative People and Places programme. The project, ‘Made in the Estuary’ is led by a collaborative partnership between Peabody, TACO! (local arts organisation), The Exchange (local community organisation) and Orbit Housing.

The programme will focus on empowering individuals in the community to create their own work, gain confidence in taking part in the arts and celebrate their cultural voice.
 
Participation in the arts project aims to increase the development of community run platforms such as radio stations, festivals and workshops through commissioning and co-production by the Bexley and Thamesmead communities.

Joyce Wilson, Area Director London, Arts Council England, said:
“The Creative People & Places programme is about creating experiences for, by and with local communities, enabling people to direct their own cultural programmes. I am delighted we are supporting the Made in the Estuary project in Bexley and Thamesmead to increase arts participation through a diverse range of arts and cultural activities and empower everyone to celebrate their cultural voice. We know that arts and culture can have a huge impact on people’s lives, and the communities they live in, and we look forward to seeing the positive benefits which this project will bring to the area”.

Adriana Marques, Head of Thamesmead Cultural Strategy from Peabody, said:
“The Creative People and Places funding is a fantastic opportunity to help us to unlock the huge creative potential of people in Thamesmead and North Bexley. We know there is so much untapped talent and enthusiasm for grass-roots cultural activity which enriches our communities. The area is a hidden jewel in London's cultural and creative landscape, and through this programme local people will gain the confidence to celebrate their cultural voice.

“Over the next four years, the ‘Made in the Estuary’ partnership will showcase this local creativity as we work with our diverse communities to develop an inclusive programme of cultural activities to benefit everyone in Bexley, from a community radio station to festivals and craft workshops. Culture has the transformative power to define where we live and shape our future. With local people and partners we look forward to playing our part in this cultural step-change for this unique part of London.”

Across England, £17,472,604 National Lottery funding has been awarded to create arts and cultural experiences in areas where people tend to engage less with arts and culture.  These twelve projects, part of the Creative People and Places programme, will take place between 2019-2023 and will be co-created with their local communities.

The projects will be developed and delivered by a consortium of diverse local partners, empowering people to shape the arts and cultural provision where they live.

Three million people so far have taken part in Creative People and Places across 21 different locations in the UK, and £57,066,934 has been invested in Creative People and Places projects across the country since 2012. These projects have already worked with more than 800 local partners to put creativity at the heart of the community.