Teesside University is part of a successful consortium which has secured £1.5m to help put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of the community.
The University is one of the partners in Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Great Place – Greater Tees project which was awarded the money from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It is one of only 16 areas across the country chosen for the Great Place Scheme, which has seen a total of £20m awarded for art and culture schemes.
Additional partners in the Tees Valley Combined Authority project include mima, Tees Valley Arts and Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councils.
The School of Design Culture and the Arts is leading the evaluation of the project and is contributing research expertise to support projects from a number of stakeholders.
Sharon Paterson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) said: 'We are delighted to be one of only a small number of projects across the country to receive this funding for the Great Places Scheme. 'We are looking forward to working alongside our partners to put culture and heritage at the centre of the Tees Valley. It shows our ambition and determination to build on and promote what is already a vibrant arts scene in the region.'
Natasha Vall, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation), added: 'This builds on a number of cultural partnerships between the Tees Valley and the University focussed on mapping and supporting place making, belonging and local heritage.
'For example ‘Steel Stories’ which sees the University working alongside Kirkleatham Museum and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to safeguard the oral memories of the steel industry. Through the Greater Tees project the University will extend this work with partners to facilitate creative engagement with heritage spaces through participation in community and co-curated arts and performance projects.'
Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan aim is ‘to build cultural vibrancy in our communities and change external perceptions of Tees Valley through the arts, cultural and leisure offer whilst creating places that attract and retain businesses and business leaders and make the area more attractive to investors, workers and visitors.’
We are looking forward to working alongside our partners to put culture and heritage at the centre of the Tees Valley.
Tees Valley Combined Authority and the five Tees Valley local authorities have provided match funding for the scheme.
Welcoming the announcement David Budd, Chair and Culture and Tourism lead at Tees Valley Combined Authority said: 'We are absolutely delighted to receive this significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, which will support arts, culture and heritage across our region. 'Culture comes in many different forms and the mix of projects that will benefit from the funding demonstrates this. Arts and culture bring communities and generations together and play an important role in integration and cohesion across Tees Valley.'
Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England, said: 'The Great Place Scheme intends to put culture at the heart of local communities. The National Lottery funding we are investing through this scheme in towns, cities and rural areas across the North will bring both economic and social benefits.'
The full list of partners in the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Great Place – Greater Tees project is:
• Tees Valley Combined Authority (lead partner) • ARC • Hullabaloo • Mima • Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) • Festival of Thrift • Cleveland College of Art and Design • Teesside University • Tees Valley Arts • Tees Music Alliance • Palace Arts • Groundwork Trust • Darlington Borough Council • Hartlepool Council • Middlesbrough Council • Redcar and Cleveland Council • Stockton on Tees Council