The true depth of the culture in the Horsham District has been highlighted by the incredible amount of grant applications made to the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 team.
More than 140 applications were made by the deadline of Friday 15 December, from communities, groups and individuals from all over the district including Steyning, Billingshurst, Ashington, West Chiltington, Henfield and Horsham.
All areas of the programme have had interest. In performing arts, dance and theatre were well represented, for our local food and drink providers, the choice was extensive but included food fairs, workshops and shared experiences, digital communications attracted a lot of interest with gaming, digital exhibitions and projections put forward. Looking at heritage and history, the wealth of historical ideas and projects to celebrate this slice of England were numerous. The music element of the programme attracted ideas ranging from acoustic guitars to classical music and choirs, and the literary world has had a lot of interest in celebrating Shelley and Belloc, as well as more recent writers such as the Year of Culture’s patron, Julia Donaldson and her works.
Due to the volume of projects, the total cost of which stands at £1,648,596, with £669,890 being asked for via Year of Culture grants, the funding pot is heavily oversubscribed, which means some groups will be unsuccessful and others will not receive the full amount they’ve asked for. However, for those groups the Year of Culture team will be working closely with applicants and organisers to help apply for funding from elsewhere to realise their suggested projects. To this end, the Year of Culture team have organised funding workshops with various organisations including WSCC and the Arts Council, and are keen to encourage groups to look for funding through other organisations too, along with the team’s support.
Commenting on the success of the expressions of interest received, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Cllr Jonathan Chowen said: “I am not totally surprised by this amazing response as I have come to know the rich depth of cultural interest in our district, but I am delighted at the sheer volume of applications for funds that we have received in order to celebrate the Year of Culture in 2019. I am also massively impressed by the high quality of the applications and the broad range of suggestions that have been put forward.”
More workshops are being organised and information will be available through the website, www.hdculture2019.co.uk.
Everyone who filled in an expression of interest will be contacted by the Year of Culture team with feedback on their application. Those put through to the final stage will have until Wednesday 31 January 2018 to get their formal application forms in.