Partnership working brings in £1m funding from Arts Council England

Co Op Bridge Shoot 0012 Scott Lawson Employee

We are delighted to announce that RBH, along with other Consortium members led by Action Together, won a joint bid for £1m of Arts Council England funding, thanks to our strong and pioneering co-operative values, which are deeply set in everything we do and achieve.

Sarah Robinson, Head of Landlord Services for RBH, said “We're really excited about this £1m grant which will benefit the borough and RBH communities. Rochdale is the birthplace of co-operation and, as a mutual, we’re proud be working co-operatively together with our consortium partners to deliver community arts programmes, with co-operative values and principles at their heart”.

The consortium, made up of RBH, Action Together, Your Trust (formally Link4Life), Rochdale Borough Council and the Co-op, displayed a real team effort in showcasing how Rochdale will benefit from the development of Arts Co-operatives across the borough, ensuring communities and neighbourhoods are empowered through arts and culture.

Liz Windsor-Welsh, CEO of Action Together and consortium Chair, said, “We are thrilled about this opportunity for Rochdale, and the creativity and connection it will bring for communities across the Borough, co-operating with the voluntary sector and partners.”

Arts Council England were positive and excited about our co-operative model, along with our values and principles, something we employ daily at RBH, as they articulate and solidify our mutual model of being democratic, offering open membership, co-operation, community spirit and participation, perfectly.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said, “These projects change villages, towns and cities for the better, helping people to lead happier, healthier lives.”

So, what do we plan to do?

The funding will allow the consortium to provide much needed access and facilities to arts and culture and will deliver genuine community empowerment, increasing the aspirations of residents and benefit neighbourhoods.

We know creativity connects different communities, and we want the community to decide what creative activities should be available, for everyone to appreciate, use and love, allowing connectivity and accessibility when and where required.

The Rochdale Borough project will be one of 39 Creative People and Places programmes taking place nationally.

“Today’s announcement is a really exciting moment for all of us involved in developing the bid”, said Darren Grice, Deputy CEO of Your Trust and consortium member. “This investment will ensure that thousands of local people are able to watch, create and volunteer as part of exciting new creative activities taking place across the Borough over the next three years.”

Rochdale Borough Councillor Susan Smith said, “As Cabinet Member for Communities and Co-operation I am delighted that Rochdale Borough will join places the length and breadth of the country to deliver Creative People and Places. I am really passionate about this project as it will invite our communities to be at the very heart of shaping new creative programmes and activities, inspired by our unique heritage of co-operation.”

Mutuality at its best.

We want Rochdale to continue to be a model of co-production with culture shops, culture pioneers and culture neighbourhoods, through genuine community empowerment. This will capitalise on Rochdale’s co-operative heritage and enable Arts Co-operatives and shops to be set up, run on co-operative values and principles, allowing the community to mutually state what culture and arts mean to them, enabling people to get together, leading to a true celebration of history and diversity.

Rochdale is a place that is down to earth, vibrant, and innovative and communities are deeply privileged of their heritage and proud to live and work in the borough. Coming together as a community and learning with and from each other is simply what we do best. Let’s celebrate Rochdale, the birthplace of co-operation and let’s do it through our mutual appreciation of the rich tapestry across the borough.  

For more information visit: CPP projects: North | Arts Council England

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