New six-figure funding announced to ‘boost impact’ of Tees Valley festivals

Festival organisers are being urged to work together and take advantage of grant funding to boost the impact of the region’s festivals.

The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority have launched the £300k Festival Collectives Challenge Fund, which aims to drive collaboration and set up new ways of working to grow audiences for events while increasing their reach.

The scheme will see investments of around £100k made to two consortia, one which brings together music festival partners and another which brings together LGBTQIA+ programmes. There is also scope for a third consortia to receive support should they make a compelling case.

Collectives need to be a minimum of three festival partners, with at least two of the festivals having been delivered at least once before. Deadline for applications is Friday September 15.

The funding is part of the £20.5m Growth Programme for the Creative and Visitor economies, which is being used to drive forward the region’s cultural, creative and hospitality sectors and its destination marketing operations.

The programme has already supported young people in the creative industries on their career paths post-pandemic as well as targeting leadership, workforce development and training. Further funding has been made available to local businesses in the sector to help them realise innovative projects to create jobs and develop talent.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen commented: “Our extensive £20.5m investment is benefitting all areas of the culture sector as we continue to make Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool an even better place to visit and live.

“This funding complements our big-name one-off events by building up our fantastic home-grown festivals to draw more people in and make an even bigger splash than before.

“We know the importance of securing these world-class events, with the recent Arctic Monkeys concert bringing in around £1m for the region, and Hartlepool’s Tall Ships Races 2023 just last weekend giving us a £10m boost.

“By scaling up our festivals to match, we’ll see even more people visiting our high streets to enjoy themselves and spend in our brilliant local businesses.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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