Arts Council England plans to invest £5 million to develop a Dance Hub in Birmingham over the next three years.
The money was originally proposed by George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, as part of the 2015 Autumn statement. Arts Council England is the fund holder for this Treasury investment.
£3 million will be invested in the development of production and administrative space for dance artists and organisations with the remaining £2 million supporting additional dance activity, firmly placing Birmingham on the map as a national and international hub for dance bringing both artistic and economic benefit to the region.
The new space which, subject to conclusion of a building feasibility study, will be based at the Birmingham Hippodrome and includes a large studio, office spaces and meeting rooms that will connect to studio, performance and social spaces within the wider complex. The vision for the facility, which is also home to Birmingham Royal Ballet, DanceXchange, and the Dance Consortium, is one of a shared space for the Birmingham dance sector and the public.
The Dance Hub partnership has developed a range of exciting dance projects, performances and activities that will celebrate both the diversity of the city and include a wide range of dance forms from ballet, contemporary and hip hop, to South Asian and African. It will deliver dance classes, projects in schools, professional performances, community and social dance projects and talent development programmes. A range of spectacular outdoor work and festival activity with a focus on international dance will also be on offer.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “As the nation’s developer of arts and culture we want to invest in bold schemes. The Birmingham Dance Hub promises to be just that, enticing audiences and enhancing the city’s reputation. When artists and creatives think of a great place to locate their practice we want them to recognise Birmingham and the wider city region as the place to choose.
“We are proud to support the Dance Hub, and we will continue to work with the wider partnership to develop these exciting and ambitious plans.”
Dorothy Wilson, Chair of Culture Central, said: “This is exciting news and the Dance Hub has the potential to be an extraordinary place that will make dance central to people’s lives in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond.
“Although there is still much to do to move this dream to reality, the partnership can now begin to unlock a wealth of new opportunities, building on the city’s rich artistic and cultural reputation.”