Grants totalling more than £11million for arts projects across the county have been welcomed by Kent County Council.
The money comes from Arts Council England through its National Portfolio, which covers the next four years.
A total of 12 projects will receive funding, ranging from £360,000 for Open School East to £2,677,892 for Turner Contemporary in Margate.
In addition, two projects – involving the Jasmin Vardimon Company and Turner (pictured) – have been invited to apply for grants of £3million each for capital projects which, if successful, will be matched by funding from KCC.
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “This is superb news for the creative sector in Kent.
“I am especially pleased to see that we have received support from the Arts Council’s National Portfolio for more new applicants than any other part of the country.
“KCC has supported these bids throughout the process so we are delighted to see them receive Arts Council backing.”
The successful projects are:
- 1927 – £868,000 (new)
- Applause Rural Touring – £580,000 (new)
- Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust – £980,000 (new)
- Cohesion Plus Kent – £417,500 (new)
- Creative Foundation – £1,600,000 (new)
- English Folk Expo – £380,000 (new)
- Gulbenkian Theatre – £1,095,076
- Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company – £1,158,268
- Open School East – £360,000 (new)
- People United – £500,000
- Turner Contemporary – £2,677,892
- Whitstable Biennale – £960,000 (new)
Clive Stevens, the Chair of Turner Contemporary, said: “We are delighted to be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. It is particularly exciting to have been successful in securing additional investment for our digital ambitions which will enable us to remain connected, cutting edge and relevant. We are looking forward to what promises to be a hugely exciting next four years – giving more people than ever before the opportunity to experience great art and culture here at Turner Contemporary.”
Mr Hill said: “The invitations to bid for capital support for the two major projects are also very welcome.
“These will enable Turner to carry out refurbishment of some of the current facilities and expand their provision, while Jasmin Vardimon will be able to move to purpose-built premises on a new site to continue its work as an internationally renowned contemporary dance company.”
Jasmin Vardimon Company, which has been a leading force in British dance theatre for nearly 20 years, hopes to establish a “creative laboratory” – a purpose-built centre of creative excellence. It will include rehearsal and presentation spaces, dedicated training spaces, wellbeing suite and creative incubator spaces.
These facilities will be provided on a site at the Henwood Industrial Estate, in Javelin Way, Ashford, and would enable the company to produce a large-scale touring show every two years and expand the number of students enrolling on its acclaimed education programmes.
The project is one of the “Big 8” priority schemes identified by Ashford Borough Council. Funding for the first stage of the project was provided by Arts Council England, Jasmin Vardimon Company, Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council.
Jasmin Vardimon said: “I am tremendously excited by the plans for our new home. It will provide the company with a base and the much needed facilities to expand our creative output, develop new partnerships, consolidate and develop my passion and commitment to education and strengthen our engagement with the local communities of Ashford and Kent.”
Ian Ross, the company’s Executive Director, said: “When the company moved to Ashford five years ago, it was with the aim of creating an environment in which we could flourish. With that, came a desire and opportunity to interact with, enrich and become part of the community of the locality and region at the same time as strengthening the sustainability of the company into the future.
“Much progress has been made in achieving these ambitions but the new building takes them to a whole new level.”