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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:

Welcome Back – (Delivered)

Support for Visitor Economy businesses to adjust to operating within pandemic guidance. This included:

Cultural Development and Innovation Fund: (In Delivery)

£334k of grant funding supported 21 cultural industries businesses to make strategic step changes in their business activity. Grants of £2,500 – £25,000 helped businesses to diversify income streams, build resilience and safeguard jobs.

Festivals 2021 Scoping (In Delivery)

£350k is available to support Tees Valley’s festival businesses to plan and deliver activity this year in accordance with the Government’s roadmap and guidance for public events. This programme seeks to support the recovery of festival businesses and their wider supply chains, bring Tees Valley’s communities together safely and attract visitors to the region in-line with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Destination Development (In Development)

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.

Tees Valley Young Creatives: Class of 2020 Programme (In Delivery)

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. Following a procurement process, ARC in Stockton-on-Tees has been commissioned to support the development of a new Tees Valley Young Creatives Network and design and deliver a supporting programme of early career support.  More information can be found here.

Further opportunities for supporting early-career creatives are currently being explored.

Great Place Tees Valley- Reconnecting Communities (In Delivery)

This new strand of the Great Place Tees Valley programme, aims to support the recovery of cultural venues and freelancers by  developing new ways of reaching and engaging audiences and communities during the ongoing social restrictions and building on the best practice established through the wider Great Place programme.

* Members of the Task Force are:

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 (Creative Place Manager): charlie.kemp@teesvalley-ca.gov.uk