Grants available to help improve cultural offer of London Road

The London Road Town Team has launched a new arts grant scheme.

The London Road Town Team has launched a new arts grant scheme in an effort to improve the cultural offer of London Road and support existing arts centres in the area.

The group, which is part of the Mary Portas-led Portas Pilot scheme, has five grants of £1,000 to give to any individuals or organisations looking to put on an event which will attract more people to the area.

It is open to any arts or cultural organisation which is based in or around the London Road area.

Artists and cultural organisations including festivals that are not based in or around London Road can apply, but would need to collaborate with existing cultural organisations or businesses to be eligible.

The successful events or activities need to be held before the end of the year and organisers hope the grants can further stimulate interest in the area.

Since the Portas Pilot Project started 24 months ago, the rate of empty shops in London Road has dropped from 16% to 8%.

The Town Team has developed a website showcasing the best London Road has to offer (www.visitlondonroad.co.uk) and launched its own branding and marketing.

On-street security and a Town Team coordinator have been employed, and two arts projects have already been delivered in the area: Shine On London Road and a series of street-art murals around Elder Place.

According to the team, one of the biggest strengths of London Road is the cultural activity in the area which it says has gone from strength to strength over the lifetime of the Portas project.

In the last two years the road has welcomed a new theatre, music venue, numerous galleries and exhibition spaces which have all helped create a cultural offer that is transforming London Road during the day and night.

This latest programme of grants is designed to continue that progress.

The deadline for applications is August 15.

For more information email: joe.nichols@brightonportas.com.