This project is everything we stand for

Batley festival organisers. (d309a245)

Batley festival organisers. (d309a245)

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Arts groups have vowed to boost creativity in North Kirklees with a £2m grant.

A consortium of partners led by the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield made a successful bid for Arts Council support under its Creative People and Places scheme.

The scheme focuses on parts of the country where involement in the arts is below the national average.

Working with the theatre, Batley Festival, Kirklees Council and We Do (formerly Open Art) proposed a programme called MAKING A SCENE, which aims to create a vibrant creative culture and radically develop arts provision, particularly in north Kirklees.

Over the next six months the group will put together a business plan detailing how the £2m will be spent.

Mandy Oliver, chairman of the Batley Festival volunteers, said the group was delighted to learn their bid was successful.

She said: “When we heard that Batley was part of an area in the lowest 20 per cent for engagement in the arts in England and qualified for Creative People and Places funding, of course we offered our support.

“This project represents everything that the Batley Festival volunteers stand for.

“You never know, Creative People and Places may prove to be the catalyst to achieve a dedicated theatre and arts space venue in Batley and that would raise a cheer from a lot of Batley folk.”

A total of 11 consortiums across the UK have been succcessful in their funding bids, and the groups have been awarded just over £18m over the next three years.