Arts Council England grant

Basildon was awarded almost 1.3m in August from Arts Council England as part of Creative People and Places 2019-2023.

It is the first time this grant – totalling £1,289,002 - has been given to a borough within Essex.

The Creative People and Places initiative has been specifically developed by Arts Council England for areas with low engagement with cultural activity. It aims to put the local community at the heart of driving and delivering an array of diverse and engaging projects over a four-year period.

To apply for the funding 25 local businesses and community groups joined forces to create the BasildON Consortium; working together to develop a programme of seven core projects that will change the cultural and business landscape of Basildon forever.

Led by Things Made Public CIC, the BasildON Creative People and Places programme is designed to empower businesses and residents to create a cultural democracy.

It also wants to develop a wide range of activities and projects that give everyone the opportunity to be involved in shaping Basildon's cultural and creative future.

Council leader, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: "This is great news for Basildon as we celebrate our 70th year as a new town. This funding will unlock and create opportunities for our residents to get more involved in cultural and creative activity and will help us work more collaboratively with our community on projects that will inspire and bring people together."

Sarah Walters, founder of Things Made Public CIC, said: "2019 is a pivotal moment in the history of Basildon. This year, 70 years ago, the New Town was born and we're over the moon to be celebrating by looking to the future with BasildON Creative People and Places.

“Our programme aims to bring art and culture to everyone and is underpinned by the belief that Basildon is a a borough of 180,000 artists, each capable of contributing to the cultural vitality of the place. We're absolutely thrilled with the news and truly believe that this opportunity will be transformative to Basildon."

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