A LEADING leading figure in protecting Teesside's art scene has been nominated for a national award.

Gordon Dalton has been shortlisted in the National Campaign for the Art's (NCA) 'Hearts For The Arts Awards 2020'.

As the producer of Middlesbrough's Creative Factory, which brings together artists in the local area and supports their work, Mr Dalton has been nominated for Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker.

The Hearts For The Arts Awards celebrates the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts, often within a climate of severe financial challenges.

Discussing Gordon's nomination, the NCA partners said: "Gordon sounds like one of these vital mavens at the centre of creative networks.

"Not only does his work raise the profile of the visual arts in Middlesbrough - he's a connector for artists to find resources required to develop their talents.

"The importance of Gordon's work helping make these connections is easily forgotten when metrics come down to visitors/audience/clicks. It's folk like Gordon who keep creativity alive in cities."

The Creative Factory, a project from Middlesbrough Council, is a key strand of the Great Place Tees Valley project, supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Mr Dalton said: "Artists add so much life to Middlesbrough and Teesside, often without much reward or recognition.

"It's great that the work they do and the effects it has on our communities is being recognised."

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "Middlesbrough is the cultural and artistic focal point of the Tees Valley, and Gordon is one the key players in a vibrant and exciting scene.

"This nomination is deserved recognition of his contribution - to win would be the icing on the cake."

The Hearts For The Arts Awards shortlist was judged by representatives from some of this year's partners in the awards including Culture Counts, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Local Government Association and Voluntary Arts Wales.

The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts For The Arts Awards each year. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts, the Local Government Association (LGA), Theatre NI, Voluntary Arts Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Thrive NI.

To find out more information about the Creative Factory visit creativefactoryboro.co.uk