Nuneaton and Bedworth has been confirmed for £750,000 new funding for a Creative Explorers project that will help people across the Borough access new opportunities to be involved in the arts.

Nuneaton and Bedworth has been confirmed for £750,000 new funding for a Creative Explorers project that will help people across the Borough access new opportunities to be involved in the arts.

The Borough Council bid for the funding last year, and now the commitment is confirmed.

Working with Warwickshire County Council, government body Arts Council England, as well as a wide range of community organisations, the funding will enable people to access opportunities to take part in arts projects.

Imagineer and Artichoke, the arts events experts behind last year’s successful Sanctuary project in Bedworth’s Miners’ Welfare Park, have also supported the bid and the planning of the project, which is led by the team at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery.

Creative Explorers is a 21-month project in which Borough Council, arts organisations, artists and residents working together to create a unique cultural identity for Nuneaton & Bedworth which builds skills, generates civic pride and confidence, develops the visitor economy and leads to a creative borough.

The approach is supported by the funding from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create programme.

Let’s Create is the Arts Council’s programme of work to ensuring that villages, towns and cities across the UK thrive through a collaborative approach to culture.

The aim is to help ensure that culture contributes to people’s health and wellbeing by enabling them to show their creativity.

Match funding from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council of £75,000 each has been added to the programme budget, and work is due to start in April.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s portfolio holder for public services, Cllr Sue Markham, said:

“We are working hard to make our Borough a great place to live, work and visit, and arts and culture have a huge part to play in this.

“This imaginative programme will enable people in all corners of our Borough to join in activities and events large and small that enable them to work together and express themselves.

“This is an enormous opportunity to place art and culture as a central vehicle for regeneration within Nuneaton and Bedworth, alongside town centre development and the physical regeneration that is already well underway.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting this project to bring people in Nuneaton and Bedworth together through creative opportunities.

“Our Place Partnership programme ensures more people can experience, connect with and take part in arts and culture, right on their own doorsteps, including building on the powerful legacy of last year’s Sanctuary memorial project.”

Jane Hytch, chief executive of Imagineer Productions, said:

“We have worked with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council to create a well-rooted partnership with organisations across the area already. This is a very exciting and forward-looking bid, and it is great to be involved.

“We believe there is so much potential across the Borough and so many ways we can help link organisations and bring people together.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

Said Helen Marriage, chief executive of arts organisation Artichoke:

“Working in the Miners’ Welfare Park in Bedworth over the last couple of years has been such a treat. 

“We’ve met amazing people in the local community who’ve embraced Artichoke’s particular vision and approach. 

"We’ve rarely worked with such a supportive Council and really look forward to renewing all those relationships and building new ones.”

Cllr Martin Watson, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for economy, said:

“As the Transforming Nuneaton programme gathers pace, this is another great story for the town.

“We have already seen the benefit to town centres that art and cultural interventions can bring.

“Research has shown that visitors to town centres take away a very positive experience and perception from public art.”

Published: 8 February 2024