Saturday, 26 December 2020

New book of heritage memories due out in January 2021

A book of memories from life in the West Midlands is due to be published in the new year by Brewin Books and Age Concern Birmingham. The book is packed with anecdotes, pictures, poems and memories from older people, reflecting life in the area from the 1920s, through the war years and right up to the present day.

The book has been funded by the Heritage Fund and edited by Peter Millington on behalf of Age Concern Birmingham. The book was created from a heritage project during 2020, the year of Covid-19. It has a foreword written by Lady Anne Knowles who said:

"It is with great pleasure that I write the foreword for this wonderful book of memories from local people in the West Midlands. In the months leading up to publication, these have been difficult times for everybody but not least of all for the older generation. Having been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups to the Covid-19 virus many of us have spent our days, weeks and months shielded, distanced and isolated, destined to talk to our neighbours through half-opened windows and our loved ones via Zoom and WhatsApp. 

Who could have foretold this situation just twelve months ago?

But in the spirit of supporting and valuing the older members of our community, Age Concern Birmingham spent the past year reaching out to collect these delightful stories from local people and to produce this book of memories. As we read through this rich diversity of recollections, one of the common threads is the theme of resilience, it is easy to forget that the older generation have been on their own life-journeys of aspiration and achievement in spite of very different though nonetheless great challenges.

I hope you will enjoy these stories, poems, pictures and memories, but also be inspired by the lives, the humour, the humanity and the determination of the older generation."

Watch this space for updates about the publication of "I remember when... West Midlands Heritage Memories collected by Age Concern Birmingham".

Ikon for Artists - Open Call

Ikon announces an Open Call. Birmingham-based artists are invited to submit one artwork with a value of up to £1,000 for Ikon for Artists, an exhibition in 2021. Exhibiting artists will receive 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their work.

Ikon for Artists seeks to support local artists whose income has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Submissions open: 10am, Monday 14 December 2020

Submissions close: 6pm, Friday 15 January 2021

Complete applications that fulfil the submission guidelines are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Find Out More

£17.9m boost to regenerate Worcester’s city centre

A major regeneration of Worcester’s city centre is set to go ahead, after a bid by the City Council secured £17.9 million.

The investment has been awarded from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, with the announcement made today (26 December 2020) by Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

The £17.9m boost will bring about a transformation of the northern end of the city centre, and will see the re-opening of a restored Scala Theatre and Corn Exchange and the creation of new homes for first time buyers.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of the City Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Worcester and is evidence of the Government’s promise to invest in communities. Our high street needs a boost at this point and I believe this funding can make a real difference.”

Deputy Leader Cllr Adrian Gregson said: “This is really great news and will revitalise a big part of the city centre. It will be exciting for residents and brilliant for visitors. I want to give my thanks to the team that put this strong and successful bid together.”

The £17.9m investment will be pumped into the area from The Cross up to Foregate Street train station, taking in Broad Street, Angel Place, The Trinity and Queen Street.

The area is home to the Angel Place market, Friary Walk shopping centre, and the bus station. It also hosts the former Scala Theatre (closed as an entertainment venue in 1973) and the Victorian Corn Exchange on the corner of Angel Place and Angel Street, the former Colmore Depot in Angel Street (last used as a Co-op supermarket and currently empty) and Trinity House.

The area currently has a high proportion of empty shops, a poor quality street environment and is sometimes a focus for anti-social behaviour.

The funding from the Future High Streets Fund will restore its one-time status as an active, vibrant part of the city. Over the next five years it will be regenerated to create a diverse leisure, residential and cultural offer with new jobs being created and fresh life breathed back into its historic buildings.

Worcester City Council prepared and submitted the successful bid to the Future High Streets Fund, with support from Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire LEP, the Crown Estate (owners of Crowngate Shoppping Centre), the University of Worcester, Worcester BID, the owners of Trinity House, market operator LSD Promotions and others.

The bid was developed in line with the Council’s City Plan and the City Centre Masterplan.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Sector/COVID-19 Funding


Sector/COVID-19 Funding 

Local Connections Fund
A new fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.

National Lottery Community Fund
Fund reopened applications for some of its regular funding programmes for England. These are: National Lottery Awards for All; Reaching Communities; and Partnerships

The Brum Recovery Micro Fund
Set up with funding from Birmingham City Council and is aimed at unconstituted and grassroots community groups in the city. The second round is in January with a deadline of 20 January 2021.

Community Initiatives Fund
Funding for Grassroots organisations to enable them to provide pandemic-recovery related support and provide activity which has a focus on mental health, re-establishing confidence in emerging from lockdown or diversionary activities that are on-line or socially distanced. Deadline 31st March 2021.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants
£78m fund focusing on smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners Non-COVID funding. Deadline April 2021
Austin & Hope Pilkington
Focus on different priorities every year, including funding projects supporting the Homeless, Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Grants between £1000 - £5000

Birmingham Sports Fund
Grants of up to £1,000 for projects that develop sports participation or support emerging talented sports people. In particular, the fund aims to support projects encouraging participation from disadvantaged communities; BAME communities; women and girls; and disabled people.

Fat Beehive Foundation 
UK charities can apply for funding of up to £2,500 to help them improve their online digital presence. The Fat Beehive Foundation awards small grants to charities with an average income of less than £1 million a year to support hard-to-fund digital expenditure that other funders will often not cover.