Celebrating some exciting news about our work from 2017 onwards!

We are over the moon to announce that we’ve been awarded £750,000 to continue our work for a further three years!

This funding comes as a result of a successful application to Arts Council England’s Creative People & Places programme: a nationwide project that is about more people choosing, creating and taking part in brilliant arts experiences where they live.

Our £750,000 award will support us to carry out a three-year programme of exciting arts commissions and creative activities with local people, including projects that empower young people to develop new digital and creative skills; encourage entrepreneurs and creative businesses in the area to thrive; help older people to engage in arts projects in their local community; and build on the fantastic arts experiences created since we established in 2013.

Ideas Test Director Steph Fuller says:

 ‘We are absolutely delighted with this strong message of support for our work, which recognises the positive impact we are having on communities in Swale & Medway.’

Since 2013, we have supported more than 175 arts events – from flower arranging to living room opera – for more than 36,000 people across Swale & Medway. Our programme from April 2017 is equally exciting and ambitious and includes two new arts commissions with Whitstable Biennale; a large-scale music project Playing to a different tune which will run throughout the three-year period; and a series of happenings designed to reach out to young people, older people and families across the area.

‘We can’t wait to move forward with this next phase of our plans, building on our success, harnessing the enthusiasm and support we’ve experienced locally, and making lasting creative change happen in Swale & Medway.’

Sarah Williams, Deputy Director of Swale Community and Voluntary Services, which acts as the accountable body and Chairs the Ideas Test Consortium, says:

‘We have been proud to play a key role in Ideas Test since its inception and now following this wonderful news we can continue our support and really embed the arts as an integral part of everyday life. The opportunities for communities are endless and exciting!’

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said:

‘We’re really pleased to have been able to support Ideas Test’s next phase of work. Our Creative People and Places Programme has a really important role in engaging more people with arts and culture, providing them with opportunities to get involved – as programmers, as artists and as audiences. I look forward to seeing Ideas Test build on its success to date and ensuring that a diverse range of people have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.’

Keep up to date with how you can get involved in our work and all of our news by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and popping in to one of our upcoming events.

Ideas Test is part of the Creative People and Places programme, initiated and funded by Arts Council England. Creative People and Places is about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. There are 21 independent projects, each located in an area where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. Creative People and Places projects have reached over 1.2 million people, 90% of whom do not regularly engage in the arts.

www.creativepeopleplaces.org.uk