Group of children and adults enjoying a theatre workshop
© Paddleboat Theatre Company

The Creative East Devon Fund has provided financial support to bolster vibrant new art and culture projects.

East Devon culture organisations and creatives struggling to fund a cultural project, festival or event have been provided a lifeline through a new fund from Arts & Culture East Devon.

The Creative East Devon Fund has been designed to provide discretionary financial support to local art & culture initiatives and projects that demonstrate a commitment to developing the East Devon Cultural Strategy. The scheme is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

14 art and culture projects in East Devon were successful with individual grants ranging from £800 up to £3,000. From outdoor dance theatre, creative film documentaries and festivals, to museum displays, workshops for d/Deaf and Special Educational Needs young people, live spoken word events and creative writing workshops.

The total funding amounted to £31,869 and the projects will all be completed by Spring 2024.

These inspiring projects range across multiple creative industries (music, dance, theatre, heritage, film, spoken word, digital and visual arts as well as gaming) celebrating everyday creativity. The funds will help improve the lives of East Devon residents in many ways including:
• Tackling environmental, economic, social and cultural issues
• Improving access, restoring or enhancing cultural facilities or creative networks
• Developing initiatives to specifically improve the cultural offer for young adults (18-30 years) in East Devon

The successful applications are all East Devon-based art and culture initiatives: see the full list of beneficiaries including Stockland Past & Present and the Youth Arts & Health Trust.

Wendy Van der Plank, Stockland Past & Present said,
"We are so excited that our project bid was successful. It will gather people from all the different parts of the community together to explore more of Stockland’s rich local history by creating an exhibition culminating in a special celebratory concert to be enjoyed by all ages. We hope it will also form part of a lasting archive for local people."

Laura Blatherwick, Youth Arts & Health Trust said,
"This funding will enable us to work with children and young people in Cranbrook who we have not yet reached and also to hear from them directly what they would like us to provide more of in their local area. We are really excited about collaborating with new as well as existing partners in East Devon and working towards some creative and beneficial projects which we can co-design with young people."

Councillor Nick Hookway, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure, Tourism and Sport said,
"The Creative East Devon Fund is a new initiative which was introduced as part of our wider East Devon Cultural Strategy. We are delighted to support these 14 new creative initiatives across East Devon. The funded projects will not only enrich the cultural lives of residents but also attract visitors to the area.

We encourage culture organisations to look out for the next funding round this year and bring more East Devon creative projects to fruition."

A second round of funding will open in April for longer term projects due to be completed by March 2025. For application details, please sign up to the ACED newsletter.