Over £¼m for new Inverclyde culture club

A MAJOR new project capitalising on Inverclyde’s vibrant arts sector to make a difference to people’s lives has been awarded more than £¼ million.

The council, in partnership with the Beacon Arts Centre, CVS Inverclyde, Kayos Theatre Group and RIG Arts, has secured £275,000 from Creative Scotland’s new ‘Culture Collective’ fund.

The money will be used to deliver a range of events, experiences and projects over the next 18 months aimed at boosting health and wellbeing, improving local communities and encouraging greater participation in the cultural sector.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “We’re proud to be working in partnership with and bringing together so many diverse organisations to use our unique arts and cultural sector to benefit people across Inverclyde.

“This funding will allow all the partners to work individually and collectively on a wide range of projects ultimately designed to improve our communities and, most importantly, the people who make them.

“It provides some much-needed positivity for Inverclyde after the events of the last year and I look forward to seeing how things unfold over the next 18 months.”

The project will also focus on engaging with people in harder to reach areas, supporting freelancers and developing local talent.

Pauline Kane, theatre director of the Beacon Arts Centre, said: “We welcome the news of Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective Fund for Inverclyde and are thrilled to be a partner in this.

“The funding will allow us to explore new ways of working meaningfully and creatively with our local communities and the area’s many talented creative practitioners, with a focus on the recovery of both Inverclyde and the wider cultural sector.

“We look forward to working with our partners to deliver new cultural experiences and bring about positive change for the wider area.”

As well as reaching out to people of all ages across the district, the project will support over 40 artists.

Kat Boyle, arts coordinator from CVS Inverclyde, said: “This is such brilliant news for Inverclyde.

“Collectively this activity will allow for freelance creative practitioners and organisations to develop their programmes throughout the next 18 months across the breadth of the local authority area.

“Our intention is to create a context for artists to experiment with alternate modes of sharing practice by test piloting new local partnership and community projects that offer a window into new collaborative ways of working including residency and artist exchange process.

“We will investigate key themes specific to Inverclyde: health and social care, with a focus on adult mental health; young people; regeneration of communities; outdoor work; and engaging with areas that have low arts engagement and barriers to access.

“Funding will provide a context for both emerging and established artists to push the boundaries of their practice and think about radical solutions to how we can sensitively collaborate and make work with local communities.”

The Inverclyde consortium is one of 26 from across Scotland to benefit from nearly £6m of funding to support creative practitioners, organisations and communities to work together across the country to help shape the future of local cultural life.

Kevin Jannetts, artistic director of Inverclyde Youth Theatre (Kayos), said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Culture Collective and that Inverclyde has been successful in its funding bid.

“We are excited to expand our working with other local creative practitioners and organisations and our local communities who have been particularly affected by Covid-19.”

Karen Orr, chief executive of RIG Arts, added: “We are delighted to be a part of Inverclyde's successful Culture Collective bid.

“We are passionate about using creativity and innovation to influence change and to make a positive difference in people’s lives and their environments.

"We hope that our contribution to the programme through; 'Open Studio' providing opportunities for young people and nurturing creative talent, 'Inside Outside' working with the community to develop green spaces for wellbeing and 'Creativity in Mind' helping adults maintain positive mental health will help Inverclyde residents cope and recover from this difficult period.”

More information about the Creative Scotland funding announcement is available at: https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2021/02/culture-collective-recipients.