Creating a new outlook
5:30am Thursday 10th April 2014 in By Elizabeth Mackley
DIGITAL media organisation Create Studios is celebrating it’s 30th year by becoming independent from Swindon Council.
The award-winning organisation re-launched as Community Interest Company – a company set to directly benefit the community – earlier this month as a consequence of council cutbacks.
Create uses uses digital arts as a tool for education, skills development and social inclusion.
Marilyn Fitzgerald, production and talent development manager for Create Studios, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue our work with young people and the wider Swindon community and are excited about the future.
“This is a new chapter for Create and we believe its new status will allow it to go from strength to strength.”
The council has agreed a three-year decreasing funding agreement with Create, which will see its funding reduce from £55,000 to £45,000, which will then be reviewed annually.
The agreement is similar to those already established with a number of grant-funded arts organisations including Sixth Sense Theatre for Young People.
The grant received from the council can then be used as match funding, enabling Create to lever considerable additional funding which can be used directly to benefit Swindon communities.
As an independent company it is now able to access a wider range of funding streams and the council have hailed it as a success story of the Leisure and Culture Change Programme, which is looking at alternative ways of providing the town’s current leisure and cultural services.
Garry Perkins, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for economy, regeneration and culture, said: “Create does a fantastic job delivering its arts and culture programme and has helped so many organisations and individuals during its 30-year existence.
“But with the unprecedented financial pressures currently facing the council we have to look at how we can do things differently so our services are sustainable and can continue to benefit people in the town.
“Turning Create into a CIC will open more funding streams and ensure it continues its outstanding work in our community.”
The service currently delivers its services via three strands which include mobile media, Create Inclusive and Create Professional aimed at different demographics.
Create Mobile Media aims to engage with young people and communities by working in community venues, Create Inclusive centres on projects with an aim to reach those in danger of isolation for reasons of ethnicity, race or disability.
Create Professional has commissioned and delivered projects for the not-for-profit sector and council partners.