New funding to boost region’s artistic talent
A new fund to champion the region’s creatives has been launched, with five artists or collectives set to secure £30,000 each to accelerate their careers.

A new fund to champion the region’s creatives has been launched, with five artists or collectives set to secure £30,000 each to accelerate their careers.

Tees Valley Artists of the Year 2024 & 2025 will see talent from creative backgrounds including dance, theatre, visual arts, music, literature and film selected for professional development support.

Successful applicants identified for exceptional work in their field will receive a bursary and development budget alongside strategic support for network building, skills development, peer support, publicity and fundraising and content production.

The scheme will build on driving Tees Valley as an area of creative excellence and production. It follows hot on the heels of the premiere of movie JACKDAW – a crime thriller directed by local writer/director Jamie Childs and filmed at locations across the region.

The programme has been launched by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, will be overseen by the Tees Valley Business Board, and is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’ve got a wealth of fantastic talent right here on our doorstep and now – with the likes of JACKDAW’s UK-wide release – increasingly becoming noticed for our artistic output.

“Major schemes such as the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation are working with outfits like the Northern School of Art and Northern Studios to nurture local talent, attract others and grow the creative and cultural economy, ultimately creating good-quality, well-paid jobs.

“This new fund complements all we’re doing to drive this growth by giving up-and-coming artists a leg-up, make connections and create the sort of art that will help to put us on the map even more.”

Tees Valley Business Board Lead for the Creative Economy Alison Gwynn said: “This fund is about celebrating the best and brightest Tees Valley has to offer, individuals or groups who are well-established in the region and just need support in developing their practice and the next steps in their career to give them the success they deserve.

“Tees Valley has a distinctive voice that deserves to be heard, and this scheme will not only provide much-needed funding, but also wrap-around support to ensure our successful artists have the best possible chance to make their mark and promote the creative opportunities in the region they love.”

To find out more or to apply, visit

Posted 13th February 2024

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