Seven organisations from across Bradford and Keighley have been awarded £200,000 of funding and support to help local communities design and deliver their own unique new arts and culture project ideas.
They will all be part of the new Creative Place Partners project, which has been developed by The Leap – Bradford’s official Arts Council England funded Creative People and Places programme – in collaboration with Bradford Council and Born in Bradford; an internationally-recognised research programme which aims to find out what keeps families healthy and happy.
The project aims to shift decision-making to local people and to empower them to create the kind of arts and culture that they and their communities want to enjoy and be part of, and which celebrate the district’s diversity, energy, creativity and entrepreneurial flair.
As well as enabling fresh community-led creative and cultural endeavours, the new Partners will also work on projects aimed at addressing social issues and nurturing and encouraging young talent – providing them with the power to spend budgets and learn how to get their creative ideas off the ground.
The seven organisations awarded the funding are AMAL, Bradford District Senior Power (BDSP), Bradford Moor PASS, Common Wealth Theatre, Holmewood Collective (The Sutton Centre, OUTLoud and United Arts), KAWACC (with Keighley Creative) and Womenszone with Kala Sangam.
As well as delegated individual funding – which will run from April 2022, the seven grant recipients will be offered tailored non-financial support to either begin delivering new or increase, their current offer of arts and cultural activities in their areas.
The Leap will provide each Creative Place Partner with a dedicated Community Development Manager, who will provide training, resources, and tools within the creative sector as well as supporting them to embed community-led decision making around arts and culture.
This unique support package has been co-created through extensive consultation, with community networks and sector partners having a direct say in designing the kind of support that would be most valuable to them.
The seven organisations are located across Bradford and Keighley and between them they already know and work with a range of communities through their service delivery. It’s hoped this additional funding and support will help develop the Creative Place Partners into a dynamic collective that is truly representative of the cultures and communities of the Bradford District.
Amjid Hussain, Director at Bradford Moor PASS, another of the award recipients, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of The Leap’s Creative Place Partners programme. This is our first time acting as a local partner so we’re really looking forward to using arts and culture as a tool to connect with more individuals within the Bradford Moor area.
We want to use this funding to change the narrative and perceptions people have of Bradford Moor, as it’s been said that we’re an area which houses people who are disengaged with arts and culture.
“However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a lot of individuals who are interested in creative and cultural activities, it’s just they don’t have the opportunities or resources to access them.
“It’s often people feel underrepresented, so we want to use this as an opportunity to hold events and activities that people want to see and can attend.”
Kay Wright, Service Co-ordinator of Bradford and District Senior Power (BDSP), one of the new Creative Place Partners, said: “Being part of The Leap’s Creative Place Partner programme will allow us to engage with a broad number of voluntary sector groups and senior adults by putting together creative works through activities like dance, poetry, songs, prayers and come-dine-with-me events.
“The creative works will allow the participants to express their understanding of their local community’s heritage and contribute to reinforcing the perception that Bradford is a welcoming city.
“We will provide grants for groups and individuals to stimulate creative activities that celebrate the district’s cultural heritage, especially that seen by the older generation. We want to showcase those who arrived in Bradford in the 1950s and 60s, such as the Windrush generation and migrants who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.
“A key outcome of the project would be to bring about change and improved cultural understanding in those communities where settled and recent migrant population groups live alongside each other. We’re looking forward to delivering this programme and seeing the impact and legacy these activities could have on local people.”