A new council fund – set up to expand Croydon’s cultural scene by helping arts and cultural projects attract major investment – has made its first awards.
The Croydonites Festival of New Theatre and the London Mozart Players (LMP) are the first two groups to benefit from Croydon Council’s Cultural Partnership Fund (CPF), promising a vibrant and diverse 2017 programme for the borough.
Launched last year, the CPF invited arts organisations to apply for up to 50 per cent of their costs for a project up to a maximum of £10,000. The cash is released once they have secured match funding from another source. This pledge puts them in a much stronger position to secure external funding – for example, it has enabled both the Croydonites and The LMP to secure match funding from Arts Council England.
This could see local arts organisations benefiting from major investment from national organisations, helping them to launch new projects and events.
“The Cultural Partnership Fund is going to make a real difference to the arts in our borough. We have some fantastic and diverse community arts groups here in Croydon and we are giving them grants which they can use as leverage to secure funding from national organisations like Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England, resulting in major investment into Croydon’s cultural offer for residents and tourists.
“We pledged to be ambitious for culture. We are now delivering. Innovative projects like this, along with our investment in the new Fairfield Halls, will help us to grow and expand Croydon’s nightlife, putting Croydon back on the map for live music, theatre and art.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Julia Desbruslais, executive director of LMP, said: “We will use the funding for LMP on the Move, a series of five concerts across Croydon from April to June 2017, taking classical music to new and existing audiences whilst Fairfield Halls is closed for refurbishment. Venues will include Box Park, Matthew’s Yard, Wandle Park, Braithwaite Hall and the Roof Top Cinema. The tour will finish at LMP’s new home at St John the Evangelist in Upper Norwood on June 18th, during the Crystal Palace Overground Festival.”
LMP on the Move is in partnership with Croydon Music Hub and will feature young musicians from across the borough performing alongside the LMP. Arts Council England are the main funder with vital partnership income coming from the CPF and from local businesses, Regent Land and Centronic. For more information visit www.lmp.org.
Meanwhile the Croydonites Festival of New Theatre, which took place previously in 2015, will return to Croydon on a much larger scale this Spring. Croydonites is a festival of new theatre and performance for Croydon. It showcases the work of artists from around the UK, specifically providing a platform for Croydon based theatre makers. The second edition of Croydonites Festival of New Theatre will present six works over three weeks between 16 March and 1 April 2017.
Honouring its mission to provide a platform for local artists, three of the six are from Croydon, and the festival is presenting its first commission from local theatre-maker Jenny Lockyer.
Anna Arthur, director of Croydonites, said: “I wouldn’t have received the Arts Council money without the promise of this matching money. It’s never been harder to get Arts Council funding, as there are more and more demands on an ever shrinking pot, so the festival could not have gone ahead without it.
“The first festival defied all our expectations in terms of its popularity; so we are back with a bigger programme which brings together an amazing group of artists. Within these works, we honour local historical figures, reflect our diverse Croydon community and tackle issues faced by us locally and nationally. Some of the work is challenging but there is plenty of song, dance and laughter along the way.”
For more information and booking visit http://www.croydonites.com/.
Croydon’s CPF has £100,000 available for arts organisations to bid for. For more information or to apply visit the CPF page on the council website. CPF will accept completed applications to another funder with just a cover sheet to Croydon, reducing the amount of time applicants have to spend writing bids.