A new fund has been launched designed to help creative individuals and organisations start cultural initiatives that will create long-lastng positive change in Plymouth.

The Cultural Investment Fund will give creatives the power to test new ideas and develop new concepts that will have profound effects on the city as it begins its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The £42,000 fund has been launched today by Plymouth Culture, the organisation responsible for the development of the cultural sector in the city, with funding from a collective of National Portfolio Organisations across the city.

The aim is for the money to be used for projects that help lead the city through positive, systematic change driven by culture – rather than immediate artistic output.

Initiatives will be welcomed that target long term change and reimagine the future by tackling the many challenges the cultural sector and the wider community face.

Individuals and organisations can apply at the Plymouth Culture website via this link: http://plymouthculture.co.uk/cultural-investment-fund/

Plymouth Culture Chief Executive Officer Hannah Harris said: “The cultural sector has never been in such a threatened position and yet arts and culture has never been more important in terms of how we react to the Covid-19 crisis as a society and a community.

“We see the Cultural Investment Fund, not only as a response to Covid, but as an integral part of developing the city’s Cultural Strategy.

“We want the strategy to be visionary and to challenge current norms to create a better future. To do this we know we need to do things differently and this fund is a first step in changing how we work in partnership and how we support the cultural ecology of the city

“We are hoping to work with organisations and individuals that challenge our thinking and innovate our way out of crisis, towards a better future.”

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available to individuals and organisations who fit the criteria explained on the Plymouth Culture website. Applicants must be based in the South West and have a strong, working link with Plymouth. The fund has four key objectives:

To seed fund initiatives that reimagine how we work as a sector and city

• To create a sustainable mechanism for cultural investment
• To support organisations and individuals to innovate out of crisis
• To create an approach to developing, amplifying and adopting new ways of working.

Hannah added: “The reason we are calling it an investment is because we are prepared to take some risks, in that we will be buying into a cultural initiative rather than a guaranteed artistic output.

“It is an investment because we are also looking for long term, scalable impact. We want these initiatives to test new ways of working so that the learning can be shared and embedded across the sector in Plymouth for positive, systemic change.”

Interested individuals and organisations can find more information and apply at the Plymouth Culture website: http://plymouthculture.co.uk/cultural-investment-fund/

The fund has been supported by the Real Ideas Organisation, The Box, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Barbican Theatre Plymouth, Karst, Take a Part and Literature Works.

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