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North gets £15m boost with new cultural regeneration fund

Towns and cities are encouraged to bid for capital grants to build a lasting regional legacy to the Government’s ‘Great Exhibition of the North’.

A new £15m cultural regeneration fund has been set up to help the North of England build a “lasting regional legacy” from the upcoming ‘Great Exhibition of the North’.

Announced today by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, the new Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will make capital grants of up to £4m to established partnerships between businesses and local authorities.

The government fund intends to back projects such as renovations for music venues or tech start-up centres. The successful projects will promote sustainable cultural and creative regeneration and benefit areas in the North that have had low levels of cultural investment.

“This £15m fund is a fantastic chance for towns and cities to develop inspirational projects that could have a transformative local effect – particularly in communities that have seen less cultural or creative investment in the past,” said Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

“We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North, and this fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”

Eligibility and awards

The 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships – voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses – in the North East, North West and Yorkshire are eligible to apply for the Fund.

Capital grants up to a total of £5m will be made in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21. Government aims to make three or four large capital grants over the three years of around £3 to £4m each.

Speaking about the Fund, Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one, and this £15m fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.

“We’ve already invested over £3.4bn for projects to boost local economies in the Northern Powerhouse and this latest funding will help make sure the Great Exhibition of the North creates a legacy for years to come.”

The successful projects will be announced in March 2018, and a further round of funding may follow if all the available funds have not been committed.

Great Exhibition of the North

The Fund will build on the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North, which the Government hopes will be the “biggest event in England in 2018”.

Due to take place in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer, following a competitive bidding process that saw the city selected ahead of Sheffield, Bradford and Blackpool, the £5m government-funded exhibition will be free to visitors and showcase “the best of Northern art, design and innovation”.

Christy Romer