Swindon’s Create Studios receives game-changing grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

By Jamie Hill - 22 October 2020

Arts and Culture

Create Studios is delighted to announce a £195,000 award as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future for its award-winning digital production skills programme for young people in Swindon and the region.

The Culture Secretary announced this weekend that Create Studios is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced this weekend. This follows £257 million awarded last week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Create Studios celebrated its 35th anniversary last year, and as such is an established part of Swindon’s cultural landscape, reaching over 8000 diverse participants a year, with over 30,000 enjoying civic exhibitions in public venues, and over 3.5 million seeing its work online.

As a not-for-profit Social Enterprise, Create Studios uses income from its film and digital production activity with household names from National Trust to Chelsea FC, to build on public grants from Arts Council England and Swindon Borough Council which support a range of talent development opportunities for diverse young people in the region – from explorers through to Graduates returning to find work back in Swindon and Wiltshire.  

This support for new talent won Create’s Team a Wiltshire Business Award in 2018, along with National recognition for excellence by Arts Council England when it was invited to their National Portfolio, joining Swindon’s Prime Theatre and Swindon Dance to make 3 National Portfolio Organisations in Swindon – a great accolade for the quality of the town’s Cultural offer.

This week’s award to Create Studios from the Culture Recovery Fund will support a sustainable relaunch of that award-winning Talent Development work ranging from school children to returning Media Graduates. The grant will also enable support of 2 apprenticeship roles to join the Production Team at Create, a really important commitment when many young people are struggling to find their next steps after school or college.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.  

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Create Studios’ CEO & Artistic Director, Shahina Johnson MBE said:  “The team at Create Studios are thrilled to have been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund and ACE to be able to anchor our mission to grow diverse talent for the Digital Creative Industries.  Our outreach, talent and diverse heritage commitment to Swindon and the region has been secured by the grant.”

“We are excited that this grant will enable us to appoint 2 apprentice roles for young people and new members in our team to extend our outreach practice in response to Covid. Most importantly we can also support freelance roles that are the life-blood of the creative sector as our production work goes live again. This grant is a game-changer for Create and for our offer to Swindon’s community.”

For more information on getting involved in Create’s talent programme visit createstudios.org.uk

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