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£500k boost for Birmingham's creative economy

Arts Council England backs Birmingham City University's STEAMHouse project which aims to bring arts and culture together with business

BCU’s Parkside building
BCU's STEAMHouse project has received new funding

A project which aims to bring together arts and culture with science, technology, engineering and maths has been awarded £500,000 by Arts Council England.

Called STEAMHouse, it is run by Birmingham City University in partnership with arts initiative Eastside Projects and is one of nine organisations in England to be awarded funding.

The money, from the Arts Council's Creative Local Growth Fund, will help STEAMHouse bring together academics, creative entrepreneurs, politicians and researchers to provide support for 270 creative enterprises.

It will also generate new research opportunities and pilot Birmingham Production Space's workshops and making space.

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: "This is brilliant news for Birmingham and Solihull.

"The creative industries are worth £84.1 billion each year to the UK economy and public investment in arts and culture is one of the key factors in driving forward this growth.

"This new investment will put creativity at the heart of local plans to drive future growth and fuel the Midlands Engine.

"We're looking forward to working with our partners in the city to support creativity and innovation to thrive, benefiting local creators, makers and entrepreneurs."

BCU and Eastside Projects say they will establish links with local innovation and arts facilities through STEAMHouse.

The aim is to create a network of organisations across the city focused on cultural, commercial and socially useful production.

Professor Julian Beer, pro vice-chancellor of research, enterprise and business engagement at BCU, added: "This Arts Council grant is incredibly welcome funding to support the development of our STEAMHouse project, which will put Birmingham City University at the centre of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership's strategic plans to stimulate collaborative innovation.

"STEAMHouse will link the flourishing creative economy across the West Midlands with the needs of local authorities and businesses, providing arts-driven solutions to real-life problems and bringing academic and research expertise out of the shadows into the world of commerce."



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