An innovative programme to boost the cultural and creative scene in the Selby area could become the forerunner for similar schemes across North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire Council is to formally bid for a £350,000 grant from Arts Council England (ACE) for the ‘Now and Then’ project.
Selby has been identified as a priority place by ACE – one of five in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the only one in North Yorkshire. The Place Partnerships programme is just one of the ways the Arts Council could invest in these priority places, which also makes Selby a ‘levelling up for culture’ place with further funding available.
If successful, ‘Now and Then’ will deliver a range of cultural and creative schemes for people of all ages and backgrounds, especially young people and children. It will look at people, place and pride and focus on the three specific areas of Selby, Tadcaster and Sherburn in Elmet.
Local organisations, both established and grassroots, will deliver the three-year programme which includes appointing a curator at Selby Abbey to develop a range of contemporary art in and around the historic place of worship.
Site-specific work for Tadcaster particularly in the town is also planned to inspire and engage with the younger generation, and accessible community spaces for Sherburn in Elmet are due to be established to work with communities to design cultural activities.
In approving the application for the ACE funding today (June 14), North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for culture and the arts, Cllr Simon Myers, said: “Through this programme we can deliver a real step-change in the provision of culture in these areas, which we see as the forerunner for similar work across the county.
“Culture fosters a great sense of pride and community. And by telling the story or our rich heritage, we can drive forward town centre regeneration and revitalisation.”
Arts Council England has invited North Yorkshire Council to apply for the funding by the end of July. The programme also has the support of £300,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £350,000 from the former Selby District Council’s cultural development budget.