In June Arts Council England announced investment of almost £1.5million into Bradford to test and pilot Bradford Producing Hub (BPH) – a 3 year project that will take a fresh approach to developing and supporting live performance in the city, with new ways of making sure that everyone in Bradford can make and experience great work.
Our vision is to develop a creative city, where live performance thrives.
People will experience exciting, bold and brilliant new work that connects with them and reflects how we live in the world today – happening in places they might expect, and many more places they would not. A city where art is a regular part of what happens here and another reason why it is a great city to live, work and visit.
Artists from all backgrounds and stages of their career will have the tools, infrastructure and support to be brave with their ideas, feel part of a thriving creative community and make their best work today.
BPH will be a blueprint for a fair and thriving arts sector – we will seek further inward investment and create lasting change in the City. The project will shout loudly and proudly about what we learnt, what worked and (crucially) what didn’t.
The project has been instigated by a consortium of 6 local arts organisations (a mixture of independents and Arts Council NPOs) led by Theatre in the Mill. The funding is not for these organisations, or our regular activities – it is our role is to make sure that this investment is used most effectively to benefit everyone who is involved with, and experiences, live performance in Bradford.
We are pleased to be part of this consortium, the other members are:
- Theatre in the Mill (Lead partner) – https://www.brad.ac.uk/theatre/
- Common Wealth Theatre – http://commonwealththeatre.co.uk/
- Displace Yourself Theatre – https://displaceyourselftheatre.co.uk/
- Kala Sangam – http://www.kalasangam.org/
- Mind the Gap – http://www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/
- 154 Collective – https://154collective.info/
This project already has a large number of supporters from the arts, education, business, social care, charities, community groups and health who all helped us get to this point. It is also supported by Bradford Council who were instrumental in helping generate this funding and will be part of the project all the way through.
But this is just the start, BPH needs more organisations to be involved, and more supporters and partners from across the City and beyond – if you have thoughts about how live performance could be a part of your workplace, community group, company, institution or organisation look out for opportunities to be part of this conversation in the coming months.
BPH will be making a full announcement about this project and ways to make sure your voice is heard in late September. There will then be a significant period of consultation and shaping of the Hub accordingly before activities start in Spring 2020.
To find out more
If you would like to be added to a list to receive more updates in the coming months, please email– please note it is unlikely we will be able to respond to specific enquiries at this time, whilst we get things in place.
So what will Bradford Producing Hub (BPH) actually do?
The consortium cannot (and do not want to) make this happen alone. The first 6 months of this project will be about talking to as many people as possible: artists, aspiring creatives, current audiences, potential audiences, businesses, young people, funders, producers, and everyone else who can help us think about how we make live performance in Bradford better.
This in-depth process of consultation may also mean that in the early stages, outwardly, it looks like there isn’t much happening. Rest assured, people will be working hard in the background planning new approaches for Bradford that come directly from what people have told us they need.
For BPH ‘artist’ is a broad term which includes theatre makers, writers, dancers, directors, live artists, performers, choreographers, producers, designers, people who might not consider themselves artists and the myriad of other roles and ideas required to make brilliant performance. Our aim is to put in place the conditions for tailored, year-round support that enables people to achieve their creative ambitions.
The Hub will support, incubate and realise new work across the City from all types of live performance: music, theatre, live art, spoken word, comedy, dance, outdoor spectacular and all the work that sits outside, around or somewhere in-between, these definitions. Bradford has a rich history of reinventing form, blurring artforms – and work that defies definition and BPH will support and champion as much of this as possible.
New audiences and new decision-makers
Through BPH more people than ever will enjoy exciting new work. Moreover, people who live, work and have a connection to Bradford will be part of deciding what this is – putting in place lots of ways for people from all parts of the community to take an active role in deciding how we work and what is created. BPH will develop a ‘Creativity Council’ made up of a broad cross section of our community – no one-person will be making decisions or selecting work.
The Hub is determined to take a broad, inclusive and forward-thinking approach to access – where our communities will tell us what they need. With appropriate budget resource in place to realise this, access will sit at the heart of everything we do – everyone should be able to participate fully in all the Hub’s activities and BPH is determined to do everything possible to remove the barriers that might prevent this – whatever those barriers may be.