Comunidad de Navidad - Blackhall from Jack Drum Arts on Vimeo.

A number of successful projects have already taken place thanks to funding support from Let’s Create including Communidad de Navidad, Blackhall - which actively engaged over 800 people

Let’s Create

We want to hear your ideas about how to get more people involved in something creative in East Durham so we’ve set up Let’s Create – awarding funding grants from £500 and £2500.

This commissioning scheme gives local groups, venues, arts organisations and many more the chance to test out new ideas and build on the great activities that are happening already. All with the aim of getting more people in East Durham involved in something creative.

This also help us to understand what’s already out there so we can invest in things that work and learn from things that don’t when it comes to getting more people involved in the arts.

There have been three funding rounds to date:

  • September 2015
  • November 2015
  • March 2016

We are particularly looking for events and activities inspired by these campaigns:

  • Roald Dahl at 100 (Birthday 13 September 2016 but celebrations all year round): Roald Dahl is 100 this year and activities are happening all over the country to celebrate. Why not join the birthday party?
  • The Big Draw (1 -30 October 2016): The world’s biggest drawing festival designed to get everybody drawing. Why not host a Big Draw event?
  • Fun Palaces (Weekend 1-2 October 2016): Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of community, with an annual weekend of arts and science events created by, for and with local people.
  • Big Sing Sing (All year): Campaign to get everyone singing. Why not link into the campaign and get your community singing?
  • Family Arts Week (October 2016): Family arts events happening during October can receive national listings by meeting the Arts Council’s Family Arts Standards. Why not get your event listed here?
  • Finally we are looking for any Christmas Events so if you’re thinking of getting arty this festive period then check out Let’s Create as a way of making it happen!

You can download our application form, guidance notes and questions we’ve been asked so far plus the presentation from the launch here (click enable macros when opening!)

Launch Slideshow

Lets Create Guidance Notes Final

Lets Create Application Form Final

Questions from Let’s Create launch – 12th August 2015

The fund will be managed by East Durham Trust who are experts in offering services and support to all sorts of local community groups.

To discuss your project ideas contact Jess Watson on 0191 569 3511 /

For queries around application forms contact Colin Jackson on 0191 569 3511 /



The following cultural activity has been made possible through the Let’s Create commissioning scheme:

Round 1 – September 2015

Applicant: Horden Youth Community Centre
Amount awarded: £2,410

  • 12 week musical drama course for up to 20 people aged 7+, learning techniques such as jazz, ballet, choreography and singing. With an emphasis on preparing for performance opportunities.
  • Digital phone class for 15 people aged 14+ although targeted at the 20 – 45 bracket. To teach the mechanics and techniques in editing and producing high quality photographs and produce and end of course exhibition.
  • Developing the existing fine art group by increasing its capacity by an additional eight people with a tutored course from a tutor from Sunderland College.

Comunidad de Naividad
Applicant: Jack Drum Arts (With Blackhall Community Association)
Amount awarded: £2,500

A multi cultural Latin American inspired arts event based in the Blackhall area which will coincide with the switch on of the Christmas lights at the community centre. International artists will be commissioned to create new work for a stunning carnival style parade including lanterns, stilt walking, costumes/puppets and new music. The project will include craft and music workshops for 50+ adults, families and young people. The project will culminate in a large scale high profile outdoor event on 12 December 2015.

Youth arts run by Creative Youth Opportunities
Applicant: Shotton Community Centre
Amount awarded: £2,500

Community Centre activities will provide 10 x two hour sessions of arts activity for young people that will explore creative practice and pieces of art that will be displayed in an art exhibition that will reach over 200 people.

Jimmy Kays Exhibition
Applicant: EDAN (East Durham Artists Network)
Project: Amount awarded: £1,000

An exhibition space for the drawings and social commentary of pit artist Jimmy Kays. The project will provide an additional six lectures/workshops for up to 100 people that will demonstrate the possibilities of engaging in the arts and provide artistic inspiration. It is envisaged that it would also increase the footfall of an art space in the area.


Family arts activities with exhibition
Applicant: Creative Youth Opportunities (in association Greenhills Community Centre)
Amount awarded: £2,500

To deliver two community arts projects in Wheatley Hill for up to 50 people, the family arts projects will provide a hook to engage adults in creative activities. It is envisaged that they will create two pieces of community art that can be displayed in an exhibition at the community centre.

Series of Tea Dances
Applicant: Shotton Partnership 2000 Ltd
Amount awarded: £1,620

To provide six tea dances over a six month period to up to 100 people that will encourage access to the arts and change people’s perception of what is classed as art.


Round 2 – November 2015

Once Upon a Time
Applicant: Wingate and Station Town Family Centre
Amount awarded: £2,262

To engage 20 families in 20, one hour story-telling activities within the local school library.  Parents and children will be introduced to a wide variety of books, music, theatre and puppets to enrich their literary and cultural experiences. A celebration event will be run at the end of the 20 weeks with a teddy bears picnic with professional story teller Chris Bostock.

Scarecrow Festival
Applicant: Shotton Residents Association
Amount awarded: £1,480

To provide activities for residents of Shotton with two scarecrow making activities and an opportunity to display them throughout the village and encourage other residents/groups to participate in the festival in April/May 2016.

Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Applicant: Dawdon Youth and Community Centre
Amount awarded: £1,110

The project will develop a group of mums and their children with photography software and explore self expression.  The activities will include a mini fashion makeover, and a photo imaging  session that will include looking at techniques and influences of other artists.  The final artistic photos will be wall mounted with one word to describe their personal influences to their portrait for all to see at the centre.

Jack Shine the Maggie Story
Applicant: Apollo Pavilion Community Association
Amount awarded: £2,490

Based on a traditional children’s’ game that was played in East Durham during the winter months.  The project will develop links with a local primary school.  The project will provide two introductory session with a local historian, two extended workshops with storyteller Chris Bostock, another two extended workshops making modern day ‘maggies’ (miners lamp) exploring images of light and darkness, and a family lantern and banner making workshop and a celebration event.

St Mary’s Church
Applicant: EDAN (East Durham Artists Network)
Amount awarded: £1,500

To undertake a creative art project around St Mary’s Church and the area of Seaham. It will involve existing members of EDAN and community groups within the area.  Workshops and lectures will provide people with the opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage with an exhibition taking place.


Round 3 – March 2016

Shop Girls
Applicant: Exhibit ‘A’rt
Amount awarded: £2,500

To work with six artists that will create an interactive piece of work that will engage the local community would engage with. The project would take over an empty shop with a bell installation, a till receipt installation, ceramics and stained glass, in Peterlee town centre over four weeks.

Mayhem at the Barn
Applicant: The Barn at Easington
Amount awarded: £2,500

To host a community music/art event that will provide workshops prior to the event and create puppets and costumes for a parade to the festival site. The event itself will promote local musicians and writers in an evening of light entertainment.  Whereas previous events targeted resident of Easington this proposal looks to expand and reach out to more local residents of East Durham.

East Durham Scarecrow Festival
Applicant: Action Castle Eden
Amount awarded: £1,040

Will incorporate the Castle Eden Festival across a number of villages within the area including Hesleden, Hutton Henry, Castle Eden and Shotton.  The project will support scarecrow making classes and aims to reach at least 100 people. It is anticipated that the project will continue annually after the project has finished.


Mosaic Lounge
Applicant: Life Mapping CIC
Amount awarded: £2,500

To create a pop-up shop to allow passersby to have a go at mosaic art.  The project will run over a six day period and will engage a minimum of 100 people.

Community Choir
Applicant: Friends of Wellfield School
Amount awarded: £2,500

To work in partnership with East Durham Belles to establish a new choir for 25 women and girls aged 14+ in the East Durham area.

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