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ARTS £20m funding pot for facilities

Peter Davies, mayor of Doncaster (centre) at the new centre’s topping out ceremony

Milestone for Doncaster’s new £20m arts venue

A topping out ceremony has been held for a new £20m performance venue in Doncaster. When complete, the centre will house a wide range of spaces and facilities which include a 620-seat theatre kitted out to accommodate touring shows and a 200- seat or 400 standing flexible space for live music and smaller productions. Tere will also be modern dance and

drama studios; various educational and rehearsal spaces that will double up as meeting and conference rooms; a light and spacious foyer area and a café bar with views out onto a public square. Te venue, designed by specialist the-

atre architects, Arts Team RHWL, is set to become a regional hub for arts and culture in South Yorkshire and beyond. VINCI Construction UK is now halfway

through a two-year construction contract which started in September 2011. Te venue is scheduled to be completed

in early 2013 and forms an important part of the new £300m Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ) planned for Doncaster. Te CCQ project is supported financially by the European Union, as part of the European Regional Development Fund’s support for the region’s economic develop- ment through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Portrait Gallery acquires Thomas Hollis bust

Te National Portrait Gallery has acquired the last portrait of the eighteenth-century British thinker Tomas Hollis – one of the architects of American independence – to remain in Britain. Te gallery acquired the portrait, for

the nation, following a loan period from a private collection, for £293,157 having received £100,000 towards its purchase from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and £57,000 from the Art Fund. Details:


Arts and culture organisations have been urged to apply for grants of between £100,000 and £499,999 to improve their existing facilities. Te funding has been made available as part of Arts Council England’s (ACE) £234.6m capi- tal investment fund. In total, £20m of National Lottery money has been budgeted for small capital grants under the scheme, to address the needs of organisations whose plans to improve their existing buildings and equipment do not involve large-scale work. There will be two funding rounds, with

£12m budgeted for 2012-13 and a further £8m available in 2013-14. Te new grants are an expansion of ACE’s current programme which offers organisations the opportunity to apply for larger grants of £500,000 or more. Alan Davey, chief executive, Arts Council

England, said: “Te Arts Council understands that like any trade, artists and performers need the right tools and facilities to effectively deliver and develop their craſt and audiences need places where they can properly interact with the art or performance.

Te grants will look to fund smaller-scale projects “Our capital investment programme is a

very practical way of helping to develop the arts infrastructure in this country so that organisations can flourish and continue to pro- duce the excellent work that audiences want to see.” Details:

New arts prize open for all UK fine arts students

A major new national arts prize worth £40,000 for emerging artists is now open for entries at Northumbria University. Funded privately by Singaporean art lover

Wee Teng Woon, the grant will be used to fund the cost of a Fellowship at the BxNU

Institute for Contemporary Art at BALTIC 39 in Newcastle. Te institute is the result of a collabora-

tive partnership between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University. Details:

Arts Council launches employment scheme

Arts Council England (ACE) has launched a Creative employment programme to help young unemployed peo- ple find paid entry-level work in the cultural sector. Te programme is designed

to support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-appren- ticeships and paid internships across the sector and will tar- get unemployed people aged between 16 and 24. ACE has opened a commis-

Te programme will aim to support up to 6,500 new jobs in the sector

sioned grant for applications to find a national provider who will deliver the programme. Te successful applicant will receive up to

£15m to deliver the scheme and help subsidise new opportunities which will directly benefit unemployed young people until March 2015. Andrea Stark, executive director, Arts Council England, said: “The Creative

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employment programme is a fantastic and vital development for young people interested in working in arts and culture. “If young people cannot gain entry into the

sector workforce we risk losing a generation of talent, which would potentially have an adverse impact on the art that is produced, distributed and attended by the wider population.”

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2012

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