Five areas across England are set to receive a share of a £20m investment to fund local creative industries and help drive economic growth, the government announced on Friday.
The Cultural Development Fund launched by the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) is the first investment of its kind, and will be divided up between Grimsby, Plymouth, Wakefield, Worcester and the Thames Estuary.
Each area will use the funding on local cultural plans specifically tailored to its own strengths and needs, the DCMS said in a press release. Plans focus on supporting local arts sectors, increasing cultural access and providing greater opportunity for people to forge creative careers.
The funding is expected to create about 1,300 new jobs, provide skills training to over 2,000 people and support at least 700 business.
Jeremy Wright, culture secretary, said: “Creativity, arts and heritage make our towns and cities unique and our communities better places to live.
“The Cultural Development Fund will support tailored local plans that use culture to create jobs, boost tourism and ultimately regenerate communities. This is an incredible opportunity that will not only help people build careers in the arts and culture locally, but also boost wider investment and diversify the creative economy.”
The CDF was announced in the Creative Industries Sector Deal (CISD) last year. It aims to increase access to arts, heritage and the creative industries and support the growth of new businesses in order to attract more visitors to each area, boosting local economies.
More than £150m has been invested in the creative sector by the government and industry through the CISD, which makes up part of the government’s industrial strategy.
The government says it has helped cultural and creative business across Britain thrive, with the value of the nation’s creative sector recently hitting a record £100m.
The fund was launched after the success of Hull as the UK City of Culture in 2017. The £3bn investment created more than 800 new jobs in the city and delivered a significant economic boost in the four years since it was awarded the title in 2013.
Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, said: “At the Arts Council we believe that arts, culture and creativity have the power to transform people’s lives and the places where they live.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with DCMS to deliver the CDF, which makes significant investment across the arts, heritage and creative industries to bring about real change – and gives us the opportunity to demonstrate and quantify the impact that arts and culture have on economic growth and productivity in urban areas.”