The arts, culture and heritage sector in South Yorkshire is set to receive a boost with the announcement from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) of funding worth £1m.
The Fund is part of South Yorkshire’s ARG (Additional Restrictions Grant), which has so far provided South Yorkshire businesses with over £45m of support during the pandemic.
This is the first time that the Mayoral Combined Authority has made specific funding available to the arts, culture and heritage sector in recognition of the value it has to the local economy, by creating jobs, enriching the lives of local people and reinforcing South Yorkshire’s reputation as a tourism destination.
Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis, said: “There is no doubt that South Yorkshire is home to a wealth of creative talent. The arts, culture and heritage sectors have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic and investing in these areas is an essential part of their recovery and renewal.
“The fund will go a long way towards creating more sustainable communities, vibrant places and enhancing our strong local identities, as well as contributing to our economic recovery.”
The £1m funding will be managed by South Yorkshire’s local authorities, who will distribute the fund through the commissioning of cultural events, activities or projects, with some businesses potentially eligible for micro grants.
Dan Jarvis adds: “If supported and nurtured, the Creative Industries can help drive growth and realise untapped potential. Because, in its truest sense, levelling up is about more than just the economy, it’s about improving how people feel about where they live. Culture adds colour to people’s lives and makes a place somewhere people want to live, study, work, visit and invest in.”
The funding announcement comes at a time when the spotlight is shining on South Yorkshire with the worldwide film release of the Sheffield success story, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie. To mark and celebrate this, the authority, in partnership with the Showroom/Workstation Sheffield and Sheffield Theatres, are hosting a Cultural and Creative Industries Summit, with Mayor Dan Jarvis opening the event.
Arts, culture and heritage is a major industry and employer in the UK that generates £115.9bn in GVA (Gross Value Added) per year and 3.5 million UK jobs prior to the pandemic.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic the creative and cultural sector will play a vital role in our country’s recovery. Culture is essential to our economic growth, as it revives our high streets, creates local jobs and most importantly builds a sense of belonging and pride in our communities.
“South Yorkshire is a hub of creativity and I very much welcome the opportunity to join the discussion about how we continue to nurture and grow the creative talent of the people living and working across the Sheffield City Region.”
The fund will be available soon through the local authorities in South Yorkshire.