Flux Capacitor to power £2 million arts drive in Rotherham

By Michael Upton | 16/08/2019

Flux Capacitor to power £2 million arts drive in Rotherham
left to right: Emma Sharp of Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance, Julie Adamson of Voluntary Action Rotherham and Sharon Gill of Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance.

INTERNATIONAL artists will be lined up to help Rotherham folk’s creative skills flourish after the town was awarded £2 million by the Arts Council.

The town’s Flux Capacitor project — named after the central piece of kit in Back to the Future’s time machine — is a four-year project to engage the borough’s communities in arts and culture.

News of the windfall comes two months after representatives of a consortium of organisations including Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance and Grimm and Co delivered their bid to Arts Council offices in Leeds in a DeLorean car styled on the iconic vehicle from the 80s hit film — with VAR’s Julie Adamson echoing time-travelling teen Marty McFly by donning a white radiation suit for the stunt.

Julie said this week that winning the funds represented “a wonderful opportunity to show just what Rotherham can do”.

Rotherham is one of 12 places awarded funds by the Arts Council through the National Lottery Creative People and Places programme. 

As well as evoking the spirit of firing Rotherham to a bright artistic future, the Flux Capacitor name is also a nod to the Young People’s Manifesto for Re-imagining Rotherham published in 2017, which includes the aim: “Everyone should have access to a flying car which runs on clouds.”

Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance, Wentworth Woodhouse and Rotherham Borough Council will all be involved in bringing the project’s aims to life, with the emphasis on ensuring residents are heavily involved.

An Arts Council spokesperson said: “Arts and culture have a significant role to play in building thriving villages, towns and cities, bringing people together and making them proud of where they work and live. 

“Creative People and Places allows more people to choose, create and take part in arts and cultural activity — encouraging long-term collaboration between local people, artists and partners, and embedding lasting change in communities.”

Pete Massey, regional director of the Arts Council in the north, said the standard of bids had been so high an extra £5 million had been awarded.

“Rotherham has shown over the past few years how creativity and culture can help connect communities through the fantastic work of organisations like Grimm and Co,” he added.

“Arts Council England is delighted to be able to award £2 million of National Lottery funding to a fantastic project that demonstrated an ambitious vision for culture and creativity in the borough.

“I am really looking forward to seeing their plans realised. 

“This project will enable people from all walks of life across Rotherham to help shape the types of cultural and creative activity that they would like to experience and engage with.”

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