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LDA boosts creative opportunities in the run up to 2012 Games


Twelve cultural and community based organisations were today awarded a share of £500,000 to develop the creative skills of Londoners and increase their employment opportunities.

The London Development Agency’s (LDA) 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund, which is supported by the Mayor of London, will enable a diverse range of art and skills organisations in the capital to put on courses in activities including theatre, dance and music production, writing and design.

This is the second round of the £1.2 million fund with a further £500,000 to be awarded later this year through round three. Managed by Arts Council England, the fund will help Londoners to improve their employment prospects in the creative industries as well as tap into London 2012 opportunities such as the Cultural Olympiad.

Today, the Mayor’s Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries Munira Mirza announced the funding while meeting with young fashion, interior and jewellery designers who have been training at Cockpit Arts in Deptford, a leading business incubator for design makers which received funding from round one of the 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund in April this year.

She said:

“Organisations like Cockpit Arts are like hothouses, where people can pick up the relevant skills they need to move into the cultural sector. It equips new talent in different areas, from jewellery to textiles, and glassware to ceramics, as offering a programme of professional development to young designers. I’m delighted we are able to support the new talent which will be critical to London’s future success.”

Sir Peter Rogers, LDA Chief Executive, said:

“Our 2012 London Cultural Skills fund will give hundreds of Londoners the help they need to improve their skills and get jobs. The 2012 Games are an unprecedented opportunity for London to showcase its creative talents and we must make sure that Londoners are in the best position to capitalise on job opportunities leaving a lasting Olympic legacy.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said:

“London needs a range of skills to retain its leading edge, now, and once we emerge from the recession. With the 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund our aim is to nurture creativity and build a legacy for the future. Working with different organisations means young Londoners across the capital can build up valuable experience and develop the expertise to they need to get jobs in the creative sector, which is such an important part of the London economy.”

Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, London said:

"Arts Council England is pleased to be working with the London Development Agency to support the creation of new cultural opportunities for communities in London.

“The 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund awards will develop local talent and equip people with creative skills during the years leading up to 2012, bringing us a step closer to achieving our collective vision of inspiring and raising the aspirations of communities for years to come.”

One of the projects to benefit is:

East London Dance - aDvANCE (Newham)

Kiki Gale, Artistic Director, East London Dance, said:

“The funding is for a dynamic programme of dance development – designed to celebrate, champion and develop the creative skills of over 70 emerging East London based dance artists. Advance will draw inspiration from the diversity, internationalism, cultures and talent of the East London sub-region and provide access to training and employment for our dancing community.”

East London Dance will provide skills training, employment support and career development for East London dance practitioners. It will improve access to training and employment for under-represented groups, delivering a comprehensive suite of training over seven months, including Choreographic Development laboratories, event production courses and showcasing opportunities.

Other projects to benefit from round two funding are:
Battersea Arts Centre - Creative Technicians Training Bursaries


The project will address skills shortages in theatre and offer six training bursaries - providing a unique opportunity to work alongside leading creative teams on professional theatre projects.
198 Contemporary Arts and Learning – 1 London


1 London will provide the opportunity for young people to take part in skills focused visual arts activities including business masterclasses, digital media mentoring and product development.
Corali Dance Company – Visual Voices

(Lambeth, Hackney, Southwark and Lewisham)

Visual Voice is a new training programme to develop cultural leadership skills for emerging and professional visual artists and dancers. The project will provide a valuable opportunity for participants to develop skills in curation, choreography and gallery education.
Spread the Word – Supporting Emerging Writers

(Greenwich, Harrow, Croydon, Hounslow and Waltham Forest)

Spread the Word will deliver a nine month programme of creative and practical training, mentoring, and hands on experience for 12 emerging writers.
Kinetika – Championing Artists – Creative Leaders Programme

(Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Southwark, Lambeth, City of Westminster and City of London)

This practical skills training programme for emerging arts practitioners will develop the skills to lead and create two large-scale outdoor performances.
The Albany – Future Fusion


Future Fusion will provide hands on training and work experience in the cultural industries for people aged 16-25, allowing them to develop a varied suite of skills relevant for employment in the theatre sector and specialist skills in marketing, producing, event management, technical theatre, recording and documentation.
Urban Development – Industry Takeover

(Newham, Hackney, Hounslow and Lambeth)

Industry Takeover is a new industry-led skills project to engage emerging music practitioners through a varied six month programme of seminars, rehearsal support and showcases, mentoring and placements.
Emergency Exit Arts – Gigantic

(Greenwich, Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Lewisham and Redbridge)

This project will utilise Emergency Exit Arts’ expertise in innovative puppetry and outdoor performance, to equip people in the five Olympic boroughs with the skills to deliver workshops, performances and events. Gigantic will offer skills development for Londoners through the creation of giant mechanical puppets and outdoor arts events.
English PEN – Readers and Writers – New Communities

(City of Westminster and Islington)

English PEN will provide new opportunities for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to produce writing that reflects their experiences of London through a series of creative writing workshops.
Craft Central – Craft London: Emerging New Talent


Innovative business skills development programme to support emerging designer-makers and encourage new talent in London. Craft Central will deliver a programme of business support and showcasing opportunities for practitioners.
Akademi – Extend – Developing Dancers’ Skills

(City of Westminster, Camden, Greenwich, Haringey, Newham, Southwark)

South Asian dance artists and producers will have the opportunity to take part in this accredited programme, which will develop essential skills to manage dance events, providing them with opportunities to benefit from workshops and master classes, work experience for practical business start up advice.


Notes to Editors:

* Quotes available from each organisation on request
* The London Development Agency aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners - working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth.
* Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts.


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