MAYOR Andy Preston today celebrated the “brilliant, brilliant news” that a bid led by the Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership and Middlesbrough Council for £4.25m from the Cultural Development Fund had been successful.

Extra match funding will see a total of more than £5m invested in cultural projects at Central Library, MIMA, Middlesbrough Railway Station and The Auxiliary.

The Middlesbrough projects will help create almost 90 jobs, improve mental health, attract visitors and support the town’s economy. Mayor Preston said the funding would help Middlesbrough become the “most exciting and vibrant place for many miles”.

Access to the world class Middlesbrough Collection at MIMA will be enhanced for visitors and researchers through new spaces and displays. The Tees Valley’s flagship gallery will also develop its community and learning spaces and create a new pavilion for children and families in its urban garden.

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This will link MIMA and the Central Library, creating an artistic hub in the heart of central Middlesbrough.

Mayor Preston said: “The Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership is fighting hard to make sure Middlesbrough stays on the map for creativity, arts and tourism, this government support will help a lot,so this is brilliant, brilliant news.”

Galleries, museums, libraries and cultural venues across the country are to benefit from almost £50m of funding from the overall Cultural Investment Fund, which will improve people’s access to the arts, safeguard cultural assets for future generations and power economic growth through culture.

The grants have been awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England.

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Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “Our artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries are experts in making villages, towns and cities better places to live, work, visit or play. This investment means they’ll be able to help more people across England to lead happier, more creative lives.”

Professor Paul Croney, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at Teesside University said: “Collaboration is at the heart of Teesside University’s approach and this partnership bid exemplifies what can be achieved when working together to deliver civic transformation.”

Graham Meiklejohn, Head of Regional Development for TransPennine Express, said: “Stations are at the heart of the communities they serve and this investment is fantastic news for Middlesbrough.”

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Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This welcome funding will help drive forward Middlesbrough’s cultural offering, support the creatives of today and inspire the next generation of artists. This will make the town an even better place to visit, in turn getting people spending in our brilliant local businesses.”

The projects will be delivered between April this year and March 2025.

The Cultural Development Fund aims to give people access to arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement and boost economic growth.


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