A COMMUNITY-CENTRIC arts programme has been successful in applying for a multi-million pound grant from Arts Council England.

The project, Borderlands, will deliver a programme of community-based art projects in the Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland wards of Brambles and Thorntree, North Ormesby, Grangetown and South Bank thanks to £2m worth of funding.

The funding has been provided by National Lottery-funded Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places initiative which aims to increase artistic engagement in communities which have a traditionally low involvement in the arts.

Working with strong community hubs and creative organisations, the programme will be resident-led and will work at large and small scales, with local and international artists with an aim to deliver over 200,000 new opportunities for creative engagement over the next four years.

Borderlands is a partnership of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland local authorities, Teesside University, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation; North Star Housing, Tees Valley Nature Partnership and Tees Valley Education.

Cllr Shane Moore, Tees Valley Combined Authority cabinet lead for culture and tourism said: “This award of £2m will be transformational in harnessing the creativity of people in Tees Valley - we are delighted to support this work.”

Cllr Karen King, Deputy Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is wonderful news for Redcar and Cleveland and our partners.

“It is vital that there is opportunity for all and this funding will bring cultural projects to many people who may not otherwise experience activities which will enrich their lives.

“We believe there is huge potential for developing the cultural offering across Redcar and working with the Arts Council over the coming years will provide an opportunity to widen participation.”

Laura Sillars, director at Mima, added: “Borderlands will make a significant difference to people in our communities; supporting them to build on their resilience and creativity to engage with and shaping their own arts and culture provision which will become part of life.

“This project is a call to action for communities all across the UK to have access to the very best of art and culture. MIMA has committed to being both international and hyper-local in its approach.

“We will work with our communities to generate new opportunities which connect to stories, people and places that have relevance and resonance here and now.”

Cllr Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for culture & communities, said: “This successful bid is fantastic news for people across Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.

“Getting involved in arts and culture can make a real difference to whole communities, and I look forward to following this exciting initiative as it develops over the coming months and years.”