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Hastings Beach Photo Angie Perkins

Hastings Beach Photo Angie Perkins

Hastings and Rother bid for Great Place Scheme

Alongside all the activity around Stade Saturdays and the ROOT 1066 festival, we’ve also been looking further forwards and wanted to post an update on discussions that have been happening around the recently announced Arts Council England ‘Great Place Scheme’, writes Polly Gifford.

The Great Place Scheme is a new funding strand announced by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Foundation and Historic England. It aims to support places to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of the future vision for their area.

A proposal is being put together for a bid for Hastings and Rother with music as the art form focus.

What will the Great Place scheme do?

The Great Place Scheme will invest in 12 places across the country to achieve the following:
· build on existing strengths within the local arts, culture and heritage sectors in order to maximise their positive cultural, social and economic contribution
· build new partnerships to realise this contribution and lever resources into the sector to support that
· develop these partnerships so that the contribution of the sector is recognised in and supported by long-term plans and strategies for the area.

How much funding is available?

Projects can apply for between £500,000 and £1,500,000 for activity to be delivered over a period of up to three years.

Application process

The application process has one round only, with an Expression of Interest (EOI) needed before completing a full application.
Deadline for EOI is 6 October 2016
Deadline for full application is 17 January 2017

Why a Hastings and Rother bid?

A joint bid from Hastings and Rother will be a direct continuation of the narrative and partnerships that began with the City of Culture bid and developed through ROOT 1066. It also sits within the wider partnership between the two authorities and in particular the priority in the Hastings and Rother Six Point Plan relating to cultural regeneration.

The scheme wants to fund ‘projects in areas where there is already a strong local partnership approach and a commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage as a core part of local plans, policies and strategies.’ We believe Hastings and Rother can make a very strong case for supporting and developing culture as a key element of place-making and that we are in a stronger place than ever to make the most of the opportunity.

The proposal is for a bid with Hastings Borough Council as the lead partner, but very much developed and delivered by a wide consortium of partners.

Why a music focus?
The two strongest art form areas in Hastings and Rother are visual arts and music, from the number and quality of individual artists and musicians through to nationally recognised venues and cultural organisations.

There has been a lot of development around visual arts over the past few years which has brought huge benefit to the area and done much to change the perceptions of the area externally. This now feels like the right time to diversify our focus and to work more strategically with the music sector in the area.

This builds on several months of discussions instigated from within the sector itself through a response to the Mastering of a Music City report. The report outlines how better partnership working across all levels – from grassroots musicians to venues to local authorities – can enable the music sector to grow and develop and contribute more effectively to the regeneration of a place.

These discussions have been led by Andy Gunton of The Stinger, and when the Great Place Scheme was announced, it was the perfect vehicle to take some of these ideas forward.

Work so far

The idea has strong support from key partners in both Hastings and Rother, including Fat Tuesday, De La Warr Pavilion, the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings Pier and St Mary in the Castle. It also has the support of both Hastings and Rother councils and East Sussex County Council, and from the Hastings and Rother Cultural Leaders Group.

Next steps

We are establishing a small steering group to guide the next stage of the process. The Expression of Interest is very brief and needs to make the case of ‘why here?’ rather than outlining any details of the potential programme. If we get through the first round, there will be a much wider consultation in order to develop the full bid.

If you want to register your interest in and support for this bid, please contact Polly Gifford at Hastings Borough Council: pgifford@hastings.gov.uk.

The Great Place Scheme website.

Polly Gifford is the ROOT 1066 Festival Director and Strategic Cultural Development Specialist for Hastings Borough Council.

Posted 08:14 Friday, Sep 23, 2016 In: Music & Sound


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