Arts, culture, heritage and voluntary groups are being invited to bid for funding for the third year running, based on how they can help improve the quality of life of Reading residents.

Two pots of £20K and one pot of £30K are available for arts, culture and/or heritage community programmes to run activities over 12 months, with the aim of engaging local people in order to have a significant positive impact on their well-being.

Organisations must bid for the full amount and must demonstrate robust partnerships between arts, culture and heritage organisations and organisations who are experts in the social or health care field identified. The purpose of the fund is to enable arts, culture and heritage organisations to change how they work with the voluntary, community sectors and public services, to collaboratively contribute to meeting local social objectives. For example, a recently funded project sees Sport in Mind, a charity working to prevent and treat mental ill health working in partnership with Junction Dance, a creative arts organisation and with Prospect Park Hospital.

This is the third year of a three year project running to 2020. Successful bidders must work with one or more of the target priority groups identified.

Funds are available for arts, culture or heritage projects that:

1 – Older People at risk of loneliness and social isolation. 20k co-funded by Berkshire Community Foundation. Projects must use arts, culture or heritage activities to combat loneliness and social isolation for older people facing the greatest barriers to engagement in the community and in the arts.

2 – Creative Employment. 30k match funded by Brighter Futures for Children, for creative projects working with young people who are not in education, employment or training, with a focus on particular provision for young people with autistic spectrum disorders and/or special educational needs and disabilities. Projects must provide meaningful work experience within a creative industry.

3 – Women at Risk. 20k co-funded by Berkshire Community Foundation, for projects that deliver high quality cultural and creative activities for disadvantaged women, in particular those who are at risk of modern slavery, exploitation, domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault and social isolation.

To apply for this fund, you must be registered with InTend, Reading Borough Council’s electronic tendering portal. The funds will go live for applications in early September.

Please contact Liz Allum for more information or with any questions Elizabeth.allum@reading.gov.uk