Arts & Culture
Arts Council announces £1.6m boost for three Swindon organisations

Three of Swindon’s major arts organisations have just been recognised for a continued high-level of achievement in both excellence and vision by Arts Council England.

Create Studios Digital Media, Prime Theatre and Swindon Dance are all included in the Arts Council’s latest National Portfolio of best arts practice organisations. Create Studios will be joining the National Portfolio for the first time, whereas Prime Theatre and Swindon Dance have both been reappointed.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: “We are proud to be welcoming Create Media Studios into the National Portfolio. We are also delighted that we can continue to invest in Swindon’s dance, theatre and children and young people, extending the reach of great art and culture to even more people and places.”

Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, added: “This is very good news for our town, the continuing support which Swindon Borough Council has provided to the development of culture has been acknowledged and this is a huge outcome. We are very pleased for all three companies who have worked extremely hard to get to this point.  To become a town with three National Portfolio Organisations is a real achievement and recognises the growing impact that our cultural sector makes to Swindon, including the opportunities and experiences that these organisations bring to our young people.”

The Arts Council’s £1.6m investment over the next four years recognises Swindon’s vibrant and diverse population and cultural life. The organisations will focus on creating new opportunities for communities across the town as well as its artistic talent regionally and nationally.

Swindon Dance’s Artistic Director, Viv Slayford, said, “This will enable us to continue to offer many dance activities delivered by high-calibre artists.”

Create’s Artistic Director, Shahina Johnson reflected, “We are delighted that Create’s work has been acknowledged by the Arts Council. The young people we have supported into creative industries can now be followed by a whole new generation of talent.”

This is the first time that Arts Council have committed to a four year period of support and this means that children, young people and adults will all benefit. All three organisations will extend their already considerable reach across Swindon and beyond, including several projects on a national scale.

Mark Powell, Artistic Director of Prime Theatre added, “This is a great day for the many children and young adults who will able to express and improve themselves through our projects and productions.”

National Portfolio organisations are selected through a process open to any library, museum or arts organisation. A total of 177 South West organisations applied to be in the new National Portfolio. 103 organisations were successful in securing investment. Funding begins from April 2018.