Arts Council England
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Portsmouth awarded £650,000 to strengthen creativity and culture

The creative economy in Portsmouth will benefit from a six-figure investment from our National Lottery Place Partnerships Fund.

An award of £650,000 over three years will allow Portsmouth Creates to boost creativity and culture in the city. Arts Council England’s investment is supported by a further pledge of £450,000 from the Community Interest Company’s (CIC) founding partners Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth, and Victorious Festival, bringing the total package to £1.1 million.  

Co-creation and inclusivity are at the heart of Portsmouth Creates’ bid which aims to nurture talent, drive growth, and attract new investment. Working with the local community and grassroots organisations, partners will improve inclusivity across the sector and advance Portsmouth’s international reputation as a hotbed of innovation. 

Portsmouth is a city full of creativity, through our programme our aim is to unlock much more of this. Through this Place Partnership Funding we will be utilising placed-based working as a catalyst to create the step change needed in the city, working with multiple partners to transform Portsmouth’s cultural landscape.” Gemma Nichols, Portsmouth Creates CEO

Plans include a skill mapping exercise to address gaps in provision and barriers to access. New and established talent in the area will access a Business Support Programme and Creative Directory. The offer for young people includes mentorships, apprentice schemes and a Youth Board.

An ambitious calendar of cultural events will include the We Connect Annual Conference plus We Shine 2024 and 2026; a free festival featuring artworks by local and international artists and organisations such as Aspex, Artswork, Crying Out Loud, and MAKE. In 2025, a programme of citywide celebrations will spotlight Portsmouth’s iconic role within the world of literature. 

Photo by Joe Watson
(L-R) James Ralls, Victorious Festival; Tim Rusby, Chair, Portsmouth Creates; Gemma Nicols, CEO Portsmouth Creates; Phil Gibby, Area Director, Arts Council England, South West; Steve Pitts, leader of Portsmouth City Council and Sarah Duckering, University of Portsmouth. (c) Joe Watson

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England, South West, Area Director, said: “The ambition outlined in this application shows place-based working at its best; with Portsmouth Creates bringing a range of partners together to create a step-change in the city. It will make a transformative difference to Portsmouth’s outstanding creative talent and we very much look forward to the journey ahead.” 

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “We are thrilled that Portsmouth Creates has secured this funding from Arts Council England to help the city focus on the growth and evolution of our creative economy in Portsmouth.   

As an Arts Council Priority Place, Portsmouth’s local government work with Arts Council England to ensure culture can reach its full potential in the area. Local partnerships are fundamental to the delivery of our 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “We are thrilled that Portsmouth Creates has secured this funding from Arts Council England to help the city focus on the growth and evolution of our creative economy in Portsmouth.

We believe England should be a place where the creativity in each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish. Thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, we can make this significant commitment to the city’s economy and talent pipeline, so that Portsmouth enjoys a rich cultural fabric for generations to come.” Darren Henley, Arts Council England, Chief Executive

Channel website: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/creative-matters/news/portsmouth-funding-boost

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