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Three-year calendar of arts and culture activities will involve around 1,500 young people in co-design and engage more than 23,000 children.

A young woman playing guitar and singing into a microphone
An artist performs at the Same Difference festival

Same Difference festival

Almost £1m is set to be invested in arts and culture activities for young people in Wolverhampton.

A partnership of local organisations, led by Newhampton Arts Centre, has successfully bid for funding from Arts Council England (ACE) that will be spent on a series of events over the next three years.

The Wolverhampton: City of Youth Culture bid features plans for festivals, art trails and career opportunities.


It has received National Lottery funding through ACE’s Place Partnership Fund, alongside match funding of £80,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Other supporters include Youth Services (£45,000), the Music Service (£9,500) and Wolverhampton Cultural Education Partnership (£15,000) and City of Wolverhampton Council.

The programme of events is set to include an annual ‘Same Difference’ youth festival, the ‘Big Sing’ music project for Year 3 and Year 7 pupils, a visual arts trail co-designed with young people and local artists, and pathways to creative careers, encouraging 18 to 25 year olds to have a career in the creative industries.

Proposals have been designed in partnership with young people from Wolverhampton. Around 1,500 young people will be involved with co-designing and producing the package of activities, which is expected to engage with more than 23,000 children.

Broadening reach

Peter Knott, ACE Midlands Area Director said the cultural programme will give young people the opportunity to develop new skills, take part in creative experiences locally and in turn open up careers in the arts and creative industries.

“This funding is brilliant news for children and young people in Wolverhampton,” said Councillor Chris Burden, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education.

“We have a fantastic arts and culture offer in the city but, along with our partners, want to broaden it to reach and engage with younger people. The Wolverhampton City of Youth Culture bid will allow us to do this, and help us deliver on our promise of given children and young people the best start in life.”

Newhampton Arts Centre developed the bid in partnership with Wolverhampton Music Service, Gazebo TIE and LearnPlay Foundation.

“Together [we] represent many art-forms, from music and theatre to digital and gaming,” Trevelyan Wright, Chief Executive of Newhampton Arts Centre, said.

“It’s very exciting to be able to work together on such an ambitious project and make a real difference to the lives of young people in Wolverhampton.”