We’ve partnered with Spirit of 2012 to create a new £600,000 West Midlands Challenge Fund. The fund will award three to four grants, ranging from £150,000 to £200,000 to local organisations that create projects, which bring disabled and non-disabled people together to participate in arts and cultural activities as equals. Projects will build stronger communities, improve wellbeing and empower inclusive participation.
Spirit of 2012 is the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy Funder and is focused on maximising the positive impact that major events bring, and the social legacies they leave behind. This new fund is separate to the Commonwealth Games budget and was unveiled at an event at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire hosted by Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
The event was attended by over 400 different West Midlands-based creative organisations, and was the latest in a series of dedicated engagements where the West Midlands’ creative community come together to hear about the latest opportunities on offer, and the progress being made on the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme.
Martin Green CBE, our Chief Creative Officer said:
“I have seen first-hand the impact of Spirit of 2012’s work to realise the social impact of major events for communities across the UK. This partnership with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will build on our ambition to create an inclusive, participatory Games for everyone.
The event began with a performance by students from the Birmingham-based, Aston Manor Secondary School. The students have been working with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to develop a unique performance as part of the Conservatoire’s well-established Learning and Participation Programme.
Speaking at the launch of the new Challenge Fund, Ruth Hollis, CEO of Spirit of 2012, said:
“Since London 2012 we’ve seen throughout the UK how unlocking creativity and sport creates happier people and happier places. To be able to fund new projects in the West Midlands that will create opportunities for people to come together to celebrate Birmingham 2022 and mark the tenth anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics in a major year of sporting and cultural celebration for the UK.”
To support applicants considering the Spirit of 2012 West Midlands Challenge Fund, there will be three drop-in sessions taking place throughout March in key regional locations. These are informal events for people interested in applying to find out more. These sessions will provide an opportunity for people to meet with the Birmingham 2022 cultural team and discuss their ideas prior to submitting applications. Members of the cultural team will be available for more information at:
- Thursday 12th March – Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton (4-8pm, Main House)
- Saturday 14th March – Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (1.30pm-5.30pm, Randall Studio)
- Tuesday 17th March – The Old Grammar School, Coventry (8am-1pm, Great Hall)
To find out more about applying to the fund, please visit www.spiritof2012.org.uk/west-midlands-challenge-fund