Major funding boost for South East Dance

Brighton & Hove-based arts charity South East Dance has been awarded a £406,928 Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with the south-east’s new home for dance, The Dance Space.

A big step closer
A big step closer

South East Dance is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps organisations cover costs added to capital projects such as building works, refurbishments and large-scale equipment purchases by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls.

South East Dance’s The Dance Space has been over a decade in the making. The vision for the space is a place where artists and people of all ages from across the city and the region can come together under one roof to celebrate and enjoy dance.

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In the run up to the launch of The Dance Space in 2021, South East Dance has been working with community organisations such as Brooke Mead Extra Care Facility, Puffin Nursery, Brighton Youth Centre and Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project to take dance activities to them in ways they choose.

This new funding will take South East Dance one step closer to being able to fit out, furnish and open The Dance Space, and welcome people from across the South East to enjoy the life affirming benefits of dance.

Rachel Gibson, executive director at South East Dance, said: “We are over the moon that the Arts Council have reaffirmed their commitment to the South East’s new home for dance with this award from the Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund. This is a major step towards completing The Dance Space and being able to welcome in artists and communities from across Brighton & Hove and the wider South East. The new building will be a place where everyone can explore, experience and enjoy dance, as well as making an important contribution to the cultural infrastructure of the city. We can’t wait to open its doors.”

Councillor Marianna Ebel, joint chairman of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in winning this award which will mean a new centre for dance representing the south east region can open in Brighton & Hove next year.

“This funding will help transform the dream of the late Jamie Watton into reality for future generations to come and will put dance in the city on the map.

“We are proud to be a partner in the Circus Street development and excited at the prospect of having The Dance Space on our doorstep. It will be a wonderful opportunity for everyone, no matter what their experience, to be inspired and make dance part of their lives.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England said: “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”

Rachel Gibson added: “South East Dance is an arts charity, challenging perceptions of what dance looks like: how it’s made, who it’s for and what it can achieve. We support dance artists, present bold new work, develop the infrastructure for dance and get more people across the south east involved in dance.

“In 2018/19 more than 86,756 people connected with our work - live and digitally. We presented 48 performances engaging live audiences of over 7,878 people; we supported the development of 663 artists from the UK and overseas; and we provided opportunities for over 14,000 individuals to participate in our dance workshops and classes.”