From education to employment

Community-based arts groups bid for 2012 training fund

London’s Community-based skills, training and employment support projects are set for a £1.2m boost to push participation in the Cultural Olympiad and other arts related activities in the run up to 2012.

With the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games now firmly on the horizon, The London Development Agency’s (LDA) 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund hopes to give strong projects all the support they need.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "The London Olympic and Paralympic Games are not just about six weeks of sporting achievement in August 2012 and creating a lasting legacy for sport. We can also use them to underpin our world beating creative sector, which is a critical part of the London economy. Now is the time to ensure the capital retains its leading edge when we emerge from the recession – this fund will increase expertise in the creative industries as well as opportunities for Londoners hoping to work in the arts."

The fund is divided into three bidding rounds, and the final round of bidding – offering £500,000 worth of grants – are now open.

The capital’s third sector organisations that offer "strong" community-based skills, training and employment support projects are being encouraged to apply for grants worth up to £50,000.

Peter Rogers, LDA chief executive, said: "The 2012 Games are an unprecedented opportunity for London to showcase its creative talents on a global scale and galvanise thousands of people to get involved in the arts. We want to support those individuals through the 2012 Cultural Skills Fund so arts and cultural groups can help Londoners to gain valuable skills that will improve their job prospects while also boosting our creative sector."

Moira Sinclair, executive director of Arts Council England, London, which manages the fund, added: "Arts Council England is pleased to be working with the London Development Agency to support the creation of new cultural opportunities for communities in London.

"The 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund awards will develop local talent and equip people with creative skills during the years leading up to 2012, bringing us a step closer to achieving our collective vision of inspiring and raising the aspirations of communities for years to come."

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