Monday, January 23, 2023

News: A further £275,000 for Rotherham as Children's Capital of Culture


Rotherham Council's cabinet has agreed a further £275,000 for Rotherham as Children's Capital of Culture as the next phase is set out by some of the borough's young people.

Rothbiz reported in 2021 that a bid to the Government's Community Renewal Fund was successful based around the Children's Capital of Culture idea.

Rotherham is planning to brand itself as the world's first Children's Capital of Culture in 2025. The move is part of a cultural strategy with an action that is described as highlighting Rotherham as "a place people want to visit, where everyone can enjoy Rotherham through the eyes, ears and actions of children and young people."

£1.84m was offered from the Community Renewal Fund to help establish a "Creative & Cultural Skills Embassy" linked to the Children's Capital of Culture idea. It added to funding already secured from Arts Council England.

Now Rotherham Council has approved the use of £275,000 from its allocation of the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund to be used on the next phase of the project in 2023.

A cabinet paper explains that the money "will take forward the next phase of Children’s Capital of Culture (CCoC), with the CCoC team partnering with three cultural providers and working with young people to deliver a programme of creative and cultural events, festivals, experiences and opportunities across Rotherham."

Over 150 guests recently gathered at Gulliver’s Valley in Rotherham to hear young people from Rotherham set out the roadmap to 2025 and a manifesto to ensure a lasting legacy for the borough.

Local artists including hip hop and breakdance act Rationale Arts, rapper Kid Blu3e, theatre students, skaters and BMXers took over the popular children’s theme park with impressive performances on the night.

Rotherham resident Christopher Badger, 25, who was one of the Children’s Capital of Culture trainees in 2022, explains: “The turnout was beyond our expectations and the reaction from everyone was overwhelmingly positive. We celebrated everything that’s happened so far and the amazing impact it’s had on people like me, and looked ahead to what’s next. We’ve made so much progress since launching the journey, and now we need everyone to get behind it and really make 2025 an epic year for Rotherham.”

The Children’s Capital of Culture team announced the commission of two new Young Artists in Residence, who will work with them for six months this year. Four local young people will also have a golden opportunity to work alongside Rotherham Music to deliver partnership projects with Children’s Capital of Culture, including a genre-busting programme of music events during February half-term. And a partnership has been agreed with Flux Rotherham and Wentworth Woodhouse to offer paid traineeships to fifteen local young people, which will equip them with life-changing skills and experience.

In addition, after the huge success of the Children’s Capital of Culture launch programme in 2022, it was revealed that sell-out cultural events will return to Rotherham in 2023. This includes UPLIFT: Rotherham Skate and Arts Festival, which will take place from 5–7 April, with a town takeover of skate and BMX demos, pop-up skate parks, a roller disco, bands, DJs, food stalls, a young makers’ market, creative workshops, and more. WoW Rotherham will also return on 9-10 June, with an accompanying WoWsers programme that will support Rotherham’s young people to plan and create their own events and activities at the festival.

Children’s Capital of Culture Programme Manager, Sarah Christie, said: “The ultimate goal of Children’s Capital of Culture is to support more children and young people across the borough to create a bolder, more ambitious and creative future for themselves, increasing overall pride and aspiration in our borough and nurturing a skilled young workforce that can make a real difference to Rotherham’s future.

“Last year’s launch programme was a huge success. As we move into the next phase in 2023, we are building it further, introducing more skills programmes for more young people, and working with more communities to come up with cultural event ideas that celebrate the talent and diversity of Rotherham.

“It was great to see so many local businesses, organisations, individuals and schools in the region show up for Rotherham, and pledge their support for our young people.”

South Yorkshire was allocated £38.9m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022. Managed by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), notional allocations for the four South Yorkshire local authority districts saw £7.08m for Rotherham.

Rotherham Council has set out that the rest of the £859,647 for the first year will be used to continue existing schemes including its repsonse to the cost of living crisis, and business support provided through the Council’s business centres and advisors in RiDO.

The £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund succeeds the old EU structural funds and aims to invest in three local priorities; communities and place, support for local businesses and people and skills.

Rotherham Children's Capital of Culture facebook page

Images: Rotherham Children's Capital of Culture / twitter


Anonymous,  January 27, 2023 at 4:24 PM  

This whole project makes me incredibly angry. It's a complete and utter sham exercise that shows RMBC have learned absolutely nothing from the whole sorry CSE scandal.

Anonymous,  January 29, 2023 at 9:42 PM  

Are you saying that because of past problems no money should be spent on culture for children?

Anonymous,  January 30, 2023 at 4:21 PM  

No, I'm saying that at a time when the council is scrabbling around for funds, squandering money on this pointless pet project is a massive distraction from what the Council should be doing.

On one hand they're saying they don't have enough money to pay for basic services, and that's the reason they are using to justify this year's massive council tax hike. On the other they're funding schemes like this. So, which is it?

In my view, this project is in appallingly bad taste and very short sighted, given RMBC's past CSE failures, all of which is funded through your council tax. I don't doubt that the scheme is well intended, but all it will do is drag the town's name back through the gutter for all the wrong reasons once again.

Mark,  January 30, 2023 at 8:45 PM  

The money is from funding the council received from the UK shared prosperity fund which is to be used for projects that build pride in place and increase life chances, so this money could not be used for council services.

Anonymous,  February 2, 2023 at 8:47 AM  

The last two paras of the article suggest differently. It appears that this project is taking money away from business support delivered by RiDO, as well as diverting funds set aside for the cost of living crisis.

No wonder the Borough lags so far behind our other south yorkshire counterparts, when the council is funding garbage like this.

Anonymous,  February 2, 2023 at 5:26 PM  

What a loada , political correct sh###,no way would Rotherham be captital of children's culture,if it wasn't for the grooming scandal!

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