In June 2020, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen announced the establishment of a new, independent and sector-led Task Force to advise on the development and delivery of a £1million Recovery Programme for the Visitor Economy and Cultural Industries sectors. Tees Valley LEP Board Member Annabel Turpin (Chief Executive of ARC, Stockton) was invited by the Mayor to Chair the group which met for the first time on the 31st July. The Task Force brings together local leaders who collectively represent the breadth and diversity of the Tees Valley’s visitor, hospitality and culture sectors and will ensure that the 12-month programme is rooted in the experiences of sector businesses and responsive to the changing climate.
Watch Annabel Turpin discuss further details of the Cultural Industries and Visitor Economy Task Force.
The Recovery Programme will seek to balance short-term support with interventions which will create the conditions for growth beyond recovery. It currently includes six core programme strands:
Support for Visitor Economy businesses to adjust to operating within pandemic guidance. This included:
£350k of grant funding is available to support the recovery of cultural businesses by enabling them to make strategic step changes in their business activity. Grants of up to £25,000 will help businesses to diversify income streams, build resilience and safeguard jobs. Expressions of Interest for this grant are now closed.
Activity will support independent festival businesses to explore opportunities for developing delivery models to ensure a vibrant, adaptable and safe programme of festivals across the Tees Valley in 2021.
This programme strand will identify and prioritise the strategic development opportunities and key activities which will strengthen the Tees Valley’s proposition as an attractive destination as the sector works to re-build following the lockdown period.
In the development of the Combined Authority’s recovery response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Cultural Industries, it was recognised that the current climate poses particular challenges for emerging graduates / college leavers looking to pursue careers in the sector. The ‘Tees Valley Young Creatives: Class of 2020’ programme seeks to ensure that Tees Valley’s young creatives are supported to continue to develop the essential skills, networks, understanding and experience necessary for building fulfilling creative careers despite the sectoral uncertainty and fragility caused by the pandemic. It is intended that there will be four key and complimentary components to this programme: Tees Valley Young Creatives Network (phase 1); Access to Industry Programme (phase 1); Experience and Development Programme (phase 2) and a Space to Create Project (phase 2).
Recommencing Communities is a new strand of the Great Place Tees Valley programme, aiming to support cultural venues to test and develop new ways of reaching and involving audiences, visitors and participants throughout the COVID- 19 pandemic. Venues will work directly with creative artists and freelancers to galvanise engagement with local communities, drawing directly upon the evaluation and good practice from the Great Place programme. This will provide employment opportunities for the Tees Valley independent cultural sector as well as offer continuity for communities already involved in Great Place projects.
If you would like more information about the work of the Task Force or this Recovery Programme, please do get in touch with Charlie Kemp (Culture Coordinator ): firstname.lastname@example.org