VULNERABLE young people will get the chance to be creative with the help of a £100,000 arts grant.

Tees Valley Arts (TVA), an arts development agency covering Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton authority areas has been awarded the grant by the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust.

The agency will use the money over two years to support the Moving On project, an enterprise set up to provide creative activities and qualifcations for foster children at a pivotal stage in their lives.

The project has been devised in partnership with officers in all five borough councils, and builds on previous TVA activity, particularly the Moving On pilot project in Darlington last year, which worked with eight young people in care.

As well as learning creative skills, the group was taken on trips to the places such as Baltic arts centre, in Gateshead, to see artists work in a professional environment.

The project, which will help 100 youngsters, the majority aged 15 and 16, is intended to improve confidence, maturity and help young people take steps towards further education and employment.

Rowena Sommerville, director of Tees Valley Arts (TVA), said: "This is a large grant by the charitable trust's standards and we are very pleased to have been awarded this money which will allow us to achieve good, positive and progressive work with very vulnerable young people in the Tees Valley.

"The five groups of young people will meet roughly 20 times and will pick a subject they are interested in, such as drama, film-making, fashion or the visual arts. They will then work towards a Bronze Arts Award in that particular field, which is accredited by Trinity College in London."

Mrs Sommerville said she was pleased with the outcome of the pilot scheme in Darlington, where three youngsters attended college to study arts-based courses.

TVA, based in Middlesbrough, was formed in 1982 as Cleveland Arts. It champions participation in high-quality arts and stimulating creative activities as a way of improving quality of life and learning for individuals and communities.

For further information about TVA, visit