Introduction to the Cultural Spring

The Cultural Spring is an exciting project which will entertain, enthuse, educate, and encourage people living in ten wards in Sunderland and South Tyneside. It will also have a positive and lasting effect on arts and culture in Sunderland, South Tyneside and the North East as a whole.

Arts Council England, the national Arts development agency that distributes Government and National Lottery money, has given a grant of £2m to spend in these ten council wards: Red House, Castletown Southwick, Fulwell and Roker/St Peter's in Sunderland, and Biddick and All Saints, Boldon Colliery, Cleadon and East Boldon, Whitburn and Marsden and Whiteleas in South Tyneside.

We will be working with local arts providers and some of the country’s leading theatre groups, performers and artists to deliver inspirational performances, exhibitions and shows.

But we won’t decide what those artistic programmes will be – YOU WILL!

We want residents of all ages living in our chosen areas to work with us, both in deciding what artistic programmes you’d like on your estate, and being directly involved in those programmes.

We’re talking to the Royal Shakespeare Company, the BBC and other national organisations about helping us, and the Cultural Spring has had tremendous support from local companies, schools and politicians as well as leading national figures from the Arts world.

The University of Sunderland is lead partner and our other core partners are The Customs House in South Shields and the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust, a new charity formed to develop the arts and cultural provision in the city.


The Cultural Spring programme comprises two phases: Phase 1 (July-December 2013) will see the Consortium working with comunities, partners and stakeholders, and deliverers, to develop a detailed three year business that will be submitted to the Arts Council in late 2013. Phase 2 (January 2014 - December 2016) will start once the business plan has been approved, and will see an exciting and challenging cultural programme delivered across Sunderland and South Tyneside that aims to leave a long-lasting legacy for local communities.


It will be a three-year programme, but we hope it will have a lasting legacy. We hope that local companies will support events or festivals created during the three years to make them annual events that residents can enjoy for generations to come.

We’re working with the University and other organisations on accreditation programmes so some of our participants will not just have fun taking part in our programmes, but will gain qualifications and valuable experience too.


On this website we list many of the organisations we hope to work with on the Cultural Spring, and some of their ideas about what programmes could be delivered. This is an indicative programme, a ‘menu of art’ that you can choose from.


How to get involved in The Cultural Spring.

If you are involved in a community association, community group, community interest group, or you are an artist or individual who would like to be involved in The Cultural Spring.

Please get in touch through social media or the contact form.

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