Corby set for £1m funding for new arts projects

Corby Cube, the home of The Core theatre
Corby Cube, the home of The Core theatre

Corby is in line to receive £1m over three years for new arts projects, following a successful bid to Arts Council England.

Made in Corby, the bid to the council’s Creative People and Places programme, was made by a consortium of town and countywide organisations.

Plans will now be drawn up by the community, arts groups and organisations to ensure that Made in Corby results in more people than ever seeing, experiencing, creating and taking part in high-quality arts activities.

Initially, £50,000 will be released to develop the plans in more detail during the next few months.

The remainder of the £1m funding will be made available subject to the successful completion of the development stage.

Simon Mutsaars, executive director of Groundwork Northamptonshire, the lead organisation for the Made in Corby programme consortium, said: “We are delighted with this news but appreciate there is a great deal more work to be done to develop a credible and robust business plan and release the funding reserved for Corby.

“However, we should pause and appreciate this achievement, and the recognition of the strength, innovation, and community involvement in the bid.

“None of this could have been achieved without the excellent support we have had from a wide range of local people in the development and shaping of the submission over the last year, and in preparing and participating in the presentation to Arts Council England.”

In March 2012, a group of nine organisations were selected from and by a gathering of more than 60 local community groups and individuals to develop Corby’s proposal to Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme.

The working group included Corby Council, Corby Cube Theatre Trust, Corby Community Arts, Creative Northants, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Groundwork Northamptonshire, Music on Earth, Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust and Northamptonshire County Council’s library services.

Members met regularly and consulted with more than 800 people during a nine-month period to prepare the bid which was submitted to Arts Council England in December last year.

As part of the process of developing the proposal a consortium was identified to oversee the delivery of the programme, led by Groundwork Northamptonshire.

The other members of this consortium are Corby Unity, a newly established community group with representation from all of Corby’s estates and villages, Corby Cube Theatre Trust, Corby Community Arts, and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the consortium as they develop their ideas for creating and sharing great art for everyone. 

“We believe the project will make a real contribution to the quality of people’s lives.

“We were impressed by the innovative and engaging vision of this project. They plan to give communities in Corby a voice in a very imaginative way. The range of artistic opportunities they are suggesting show they have a real understanding of getting great art to people who otherwise might not think to take part.”

All decisions about the content of the programme over the three years will be made through a partnership between Corby’s communities, artists, and arts and voluntary organisations.

Projects could include huge community productions in public spaces, communities commissioning and creating new projects and productions on estates and villages in Corby.

There could also be an ideas fund to make creative ideas from local people happen quickly, a Big Night Out each month and an Arts Bus, making it easier for people from every estate and village to get to Made in Corby events in the borough.