£1m arts & culture funding allocated in South Yorkshire

£1m funding from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for Arts, Culture and Heritage projects has been allocated in South Yorkshire, which means a wide range of inspiring activities and events are planned to take place over the coming months in our local area.

This is the first time that the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) has made specific funding available to the arts, culture and heritage sector, in recognition of the difficulties the sector has faced through the pandemic, and the key role which cultural industries can play in recovery and renewal, both economic and social. 

A report conducted by the University of Sheffield in 2021 revealed that arts , culture and heritage in South Yorkshire has been badly affected by the pandemic, with an estimated sector output loss of 22 per cent – which is five per cent more than the UK average. Industry experts say this is because South Yorkshire has the highest share of jobs in this sector. 

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said:

‘I am delighted to see the funds I fought so hard to carve out for the sector, be used to stimulate such a broad range of activity across South Yorkshire, and benefit those who have fell through the gaps of government support.  We have some fantastic work going on across our region, and it is vital that it continues, that it grows, and that everyone is able to take part and access it, as we emerge from the pandemic.’

Sheffield City Council recognised the difficulties faced by freelance artists and creatives and awarded £120,000 to the Freelancer Fund Round 2.  In total, 75 creatives will be supported directly along with five organisations working on collaborative projects. The remaining £160,000 in Sheffield has been divided equally between the four artforms of film, performing arts, live music and writing including supporting independent writing and publishing through the Off the Shelf festival, film productions, theatrical performances and live music from independent bands and artists at the Leadmill*. (for full details see Notes to Editors)

In Rotherham, the funding has been put towards a combination of community arts, music and live events taking place in the next couple of months.  This includes Civic Sound Week at Rotherham Civic Theatre (30th Jan to 5th Feb), Rotherham Skate & Arts Festival (22-24 Feb) and the We Wonder Noir Festival at Wentworth Woodhouse in March.*

Barnsley has split its ARG funding into individual creative grants; a series of public art installations and events at Barnsley’s Museums; an Artist in Residence at the Digital Media Centre and a new festival of local musicians and bands under the Barnsley Live brand.*

Doncaster has allocated its funding to a wide range of activities providing experiences for young people whose health and wellbeing has been affected by the pandemic; a celebration of Doncaster’s history in glassmaking; plus programmes to engage people in creative industry experiences to enhance social behaviours and raise career aspirations.*

Kate Brindley, Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “It is fantastic to see the Mayor’s ARG fund supporting so many diverse and exciting activities and events here in South Yorkshire.  Culture is a key part of levelling up here in South Yorkshire and the funding will help to give individuals and organisations a kickstart towards creating more economic prosperity and opportunities in the area.

“With our arts and culture sector being so badly affected by the pandemic, this funding is just what South Yorkshire needs to make a difference to people and our communities where it matters most.”

For more details about the arts, culture and heritage in South Yorkshire visit Arts, Culture and Heritage - South Yorkshire MCA (southyorkshire-ca.gov.uk)

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