Swindon’s Create Studios receives game-changing grant

By Anita Jaynes on 22 October, 2020

Create Studios has announced a £195,000 award as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable future for its award-winning digital production skills programme for young people in Swindon and the region.  

The Culture Secretary announced that Create Studios is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support, with £76 million of investment. This follows £257 million awarded last week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Create Studios celebrated its 35th anniversary last year, and as such is an established part of Swindon’s cultural landscape, reaching over 8000 diverse participants a year, with over 30,000 enjoying civic exhibitions in public venues, and over 3.5 million seeing its work online.

As a not-for-profit Social Enterprise, Create Studios uses income from its film and digital production activity with household names from National Trust to Chelsea FC, to build on public grants from Arts Council England and Swindon Borough Council which support a range of talent development opportunities for diverse young people in the region, from explorers through to Graduates returning to find work back in Swindon and Wiltshire.  

This week’s award to Create Studios from the Culture Recovery Fund will support a sustainable relaunch of that award-winning Talent Development work ranging from school children to returning Media Graduates. The grant will also enable support of two apprenticeship roles to join the Production Team at Create, a really important commitment when many young people are struggling to find their next steps after school or college. 

Create Studios’ CEO & Artistic Director, Shahina Johnson MBE said, “The team at Create Studios are thrilled to have been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund and ACE to be able to anchor our mission to grow diverse talent for the Digital Creative Industries. Our outreach, talent and diverse heritage commitment to Swindon and the region has been secured by the grant.”

“We are excited that this grant will enable us to appoint two apprentice roles for young people and new members in our team to extend our outreach practice in response to Covid. Most importantly we can also support freelance roles that are the life-blood of the creative sector as our production work goes live again. This grant is a game-changer for Create and for our offer to Swindon’s community.”

For more information on getting involved in Create’s talent programme visit: createstudios.org.uk

Pictured above: Create Studios’ CEO & Artistic Director, Shahina Johnson MBE