New cultural opportunities created for young people

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Liverpool has been chosen to pilot a scheme in which schoolchildren are given unique access to cultural institutions designed to increase access to the arts.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley made the announcement at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall today during a visit to the city.

Young people on the programme will be offered a range of cultural activities, such as free visits to local plays, behind the scenes access to museums and galleries, and exclusive trips to world class venues, so they develop a lifelong love of the arts.

The programme will give 11-14 year olds the opportunity to engage with cultural organisations, public art, heritage sites and arts festivals.

Young people will work with specially trained Culture Coaches to plan extra-curricular visits to festivals, theatres, galleries and museums such as FACT, Liverpool Everyman, Tate Liverpool and the Museum of Liverpool, and review and share their experiences to achieve a Bronze Arts Award.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said: “Arts and culture are an integral part of British society – it boosts tourism, improves our wellbeing and provides a source of local pride and identity. We want to ensure that it is available to everyone, no matter what their background.

“The Cultural Citizens Programme will open doors for hundreds of young people across the country, so they can enjoy our fantastic arts and culture scene, and gain the skills to build careers in this thriving sector.”

The programme is one of the key proposals from the Culture White Paper and will target areas where there is low cultural engagement. It will be led by Arts Council England and delivered by Curious Minds, Kids in Museums and A New Direction with support from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The pilots will explore how arts and cultural organisations can provide disadvantaged young people with cultural experiences and increase local engagement with the arts.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Our investment in the Cultural Citizens Programme will help to ensure that more children and young people will have the opportunity to engage with art and culture, regardless of their background.

“We hope the scheme will complement our existing programmes for children and young people, and help to nurture the cultural citizens of the future.”

Historic England Deputy Chief Executive, Deborah Lamb added: “Historic England looks forward to continuing to build on the success of our Heritage Schools programme through the Cultural Citizens initiative, creating more opportunities for young people to find out about their fascinating built heritage and how they can help look after it.”