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What is East Durham Creates?

In 2014 East Durham Creates was funded by Arts Council England as part of its Creative People and Places (CPP) programme – which is all about more people choosing, creating and taking part in brilliant art experiences in the places where they live. East Durham Creates is one of 30 independent CPP projects. Each project is completely unique to its area and residents, testing how to grow arts provision in ways that are sustainable and can last.

The East Durham Creates team is based at East Durham Trust in Peterlee and managed by a group of partners – East Durham Trust, Beamish Museum, East Durham Area Action Partnership and Culture and Sport, Durham County Council.


What’s happened so far?

Over the past three years we’ve tried lots of different things by experimenting, taking risks, listening and making changes as we go – something which we couldn’t have done without the growing support and trust from local people.

It’s been interesting and rewarding for all of us involved. Here’s a quick look at some of the things you’ve helped us to do so far…

  • Over 27,500 people experiencing the arts – around 1,500 hours of events and activities and 400 volunteers involved.
  • 776 people enjoying 26 Go and See visits in places including Seven Stories, Bowes Museum, the Baltic, the Tall Ships at Blyth and the Festival of Thrift.
  • 2,500 people attending The Pirates of Crimdon Dene, testing how our beautiful coast can become a unique arts venue.
  • 5371 people attending over 5 hours of new arts activity through our 22 Let’s Create projects – led by and for local people.
  • 1,300 people experiencing theatre in six local community centres through our Cultural Hubs programme, in partnership with ARC Stockton.
  • ‘Neon and That’ in Dawdon Youth & Community Centre with artists Stuart Langley and Mick Stephenson. Over 80 young people from the centre created their own artwork and designed a special ‘Neon and That’ night.
  • Stories of Easington which celebrated the cultural heritage of East Durham, bringing the community together to showcase positive local stories from the past and present.
  • Creative Socials – a new and enjoyable way of taking part in arts through events showing local artistic talent and involving food with 1369 people 16 events led by and for local people.
  • Supporting Horden’s ‘Hole in the Wall’ craft group to sell their clippy mats at Institute of Modern Art (mima) in Middlesbrough


What’s next?

We are absolutely delighted that Arts Council England is continuing to fund our work 2020. It’s given us the chance to think about what we have learnt and really focus on what is going to make the biggest difference in the long term.

We’re now working towards a long-term vision where by 2024, we will have created ways for the arts to contribute to the cultural wellbeing of our people and make a difference to our place.

We are keen to invest in activity that can be continued by local people when our core CPP funding finishes in 2020. To do this, we need to work with you to find out what makes art great in East Durham, how it can become a part of everyday life and make a long-lasting difference to the area.


Our ten-year plan

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What’s going to happen in phase two?

We’ve got a brand new 2017 – 2020 Creative Programme (with some things you’ll recognise from our first phase!). We have plans for year one however we’ll be taking a lead from you and what works to help us decide the programme in years two and three.

To make sure this investment delivers the very best for the area, our programme will be shaped by a series of principles and we will:

  • Make sure our work is shaped by and responds to local residents
  • Offer more opportunities for everyone to take part
  • Celebrate East Durham’s people and place
  • Further develop places where art can happen
  • Make the most of what we’ve got
  • Champion and grow local creative talent
  • Provide training and skills for people to take the lead
  • Build confidence in working with the arts
  • Be honest, open, listen and respond
  • Have a flexible approach and make changes when needed
  • Make sure everything we do is useful and makes a real, lasting difference to the area


We have three different ‘strands’, all designed for East Durham to create

  • This Place We Call Home
  • Art for Everyone
  • Strikes of Brilliance


As well as delivering activity here in East Durham we also have a responsibility to share our learning with the wider arts world in line with Arts Council England’s aim to bring Great Art for Everyone. This gives us a great chance to help make a difference in other places too!


East Durham Creates: Creative Programme 2017 – 2020

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How do I get involved?

We’ll be announcing upcoming opportunities very soon however at the moment, we’d love to hear from…

  • Groups and places where families go to help us create our first This Place We Call Home commission
  • People who’d like to be involved in helping us make decisions
  • Artists, voluntary arts groups, organisations, venues, who would like to find out how to be more enterprising to support their work
  • Anyone who runs or hosts creative activity in East Durham we can help promote on our calendar, social media and as part of our monthly mailing list.

Please contact us at stayintouch@eastdurhamcreates.co.uk or call 0191 518 5073 to talk to us. You can also find us on facebook or sign up to our mailing list to hear about it first![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


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