Big funding boost for Arts project

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MEXBOROUGH Market is set to benefit from a multi-million pound cash windfall to develop an arts base in the town.

Doncaster Community Arts (darts) led a successful bid to secure a £2.5 million Creative People and Places funding package from the Arts Council England (ACE).

The money will be used to push forward a scheme called ‘Right Up Our Street’, which aims to develop arts bases in Mexborough, Balby, Rossington, Bentley and East Doncaster.

The idea for Mexborough is to set up an arts cafe within the markets area.

Elaine Hirst, Co-Director of darts, said: “We are over the moon at having the opportunity and resources to demonstrate our belief that Doncaster folk will participate in creative activity, with spectacle and celebration, if they have some say in deciding, designing and developing those things themselves.

“It is important to remember that Creative People and Places is not simply a series of projects.

“It is a slow thoughtful research process where we all in Doncaster – individuals, communities, artists and arts organizations - get together to explore exactly what art is Right up Our Street – to learn what gets people interested and excited and then keeps them interested and excited.”

The five community Arts Bases will link to a central professional Arts Base made up of a partnership of current arts providers including darts at The Point in Doncaster, the new performance venue and the Museum and Art Gallery.

The programme may take three years to deliver.

Darts led the bidding process on behalf of a consortium with Doncaster’s brand new performance venue, Doncaster Council and Doncaster Voluntary Arts Network (DVAN).

A consultation was undertaken with community members, artists and service providers and those ideas formed the basic of the funding application.

Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “This is excellent news for Doncaster. The funding will help engage local communities to develop a wide ranging programme of arts, entertainment and events that ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy.”