The Culture Bridge North East Fund will award grants of up to £1,500 to help young people in the North East access quality arts and culture.

Funded arts activities in a childcare setting in Bellingham, Northumberland

Community Foundation

The Arts Council England ‘Bridge’ organisation for the North East of England has secured its legacy by creating a £150k endowment fund.

Income raised from the Culture Bridge North East Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, will be used for grant making to support young people in the region to access quality arts and culture in perpetuity.

Culture Bridge North East (CBNE) provided a founding gift of £100k for the stand-alone fund, which was matched with £50k from the Community Foundation in February, and the Foundation hopes to grow the fund over time.

It is open for grant applications of between £250 and £1,500 to support work involving arts practitioners or cultural organisations and schools or other youth organisations.

CBNE Programme Manager Elvie Thompson said: “While the grants available are small, we know teachers and artists can use these practical, manageable amounts to make great things happen, so we’re confident the fund can have a big and lasting impact on the lives of young people across the region.”

The Community Foundation is welcoming applications for grants to cover a range of costs, including art materials and practitioner fees, travel to arts events and ticket costs, and Arts Award projects. Priority will be given to projects working with those aged up to 25 who have limited access to, or are excluded from, quality arts activity.

CBNE, which is run by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, is one of ten Bridge organisations co-funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and the Department for Education to connect the cultural and education sectors in a specific area. The network of organisations currently receives around £10m a year from ACE – of which CBNE receives £500k – but this funding is only secured until 2022.

“Culture Bridge North East is a temporary programme, and we’re incredibly proud that the fund will go on long after Culture Bridge ceases to be, so that positive impact can continue to be felt,” Thompson added.

The current funding round will close on 18 October.

A photo of Frances Richens