Creative Black Country has been awarded £1,403,154 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme (CPP) to expand its current CPP activity to include Dudley, in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service.
Black Country Together has led the Creative Black Country CPP project in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton since 2015, with Arts Council investment of almost £4.5 million to date. Since then it has been producing creative events, performances and activities bringing inspirational cultural experiences to thousands of local people.
This includes the Creative Communities and Open Access programmes that support community groups to experience the arts and produce their own events; Funny Things comedy programme celebrating Black Country humour; and the 100 Masters campaign raising the profile of expertise, innovation and craftsmanship. It also includes the unique Desi Pubs partnership between artists and pub landlords, which helped redefine pub culture in the Black Country, reinventing the traditional handcrafted pub sign using Punjabi text.
Arts and culture have a significant role to play in building thriving villages, towns and cities, bringing people together and making them proud of where they work and live. Creative People and Places allows more people to choose, create and take part in arts and cultural activity – encouraging long-term collaboration between local people, artists and partners, and embedding lasting change in communities.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture make the places we live vibrant and exciting, entertaining and inspiring, benefiting our wellbeing and helping local economies.
“This National Lottery investment in Creative Black Country will see the team build on their achievements so far, with great work such as the Desi Pubs projects and 100 Masters, ensuring more people across Dudley and the Black Country can take part in and enjoy creativity in their communities.”
Creative Director of CBC, Parminder Dosanjh, said: “We are over the moon. Expanding to Dudley feels like a natural step; the prospect of working as a regional programme in the Black Country is hugely exciting and we look forward to local residents benefitting from the investment.
“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, who will play an instrumental role in supporting the expansion programme going forward.”
Creative Black Country is one of 12 successful arts projects to receive a share of almost £17.5 million National Lottery funding to create arts and cultural experiences in areas across England where people tend to engage less with arts and culture. These twelve projects, part of the Creative People and Places programme, will take place between 2019-2023 and will be co-created with their local communities.
Andy Gray, Chief Executive of Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, said: “We’re delighted to work with Creative Black Country to build audiences and bring more opportunities to the people of Dudley. We’re looking forward to supporting communities across the Borough to create and choose the arts activities and experiences that are right for them. We’re confident Dudley will rise to the occasion and really get involved.”