Dance and music organisations receive funding to establish shared 'talent house'

Man performs handstand dance while two men watch at East London Dance.

Performers from East London Dance, which has received government funding to establish a 'talent house' with music organisation Urban Development. Picture: Victor Frankowski - Credit: Victor Frankowski

Two organisations in the borough have received funding to help set up a pioneering creative hub for music and dance talent. 

East London Dance, based at the Stratford Circus Arts Centre, received £94,033 from the government’s culture recovery fund towards establishing the "talent house", which includes offices, music and dance studios and flexible learning spaces. 

The facility will be shared with music organisation Urban Development, which was also awarded £93,892 to support the project. 

East London Dance chief executive and artistic director Polly Risbridger said: “We are delighted to have both received cultural capital kickstart funds to help realise our joint project to create the Talent House - a pioneering music and dance hub for the young people and artists of east London and beyond.” 

Urban Development founder and director Pamela McCormick said: “The impact of Covid-19 on our communities and across the sector has been profound, but this boost in investment will enable us to keep on track with creating a high quality and aspirational space where the next generation of creatives can achieve their ambitions.” 


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East London Dance produces ambitious performances that attract wide audiences alongside projects to get people of all ages dancing. 

It uncovers diverse talent, trains young professionals and develops their careers. 

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Urban Development plays an integral role in the growth of urban music, delivering innovative education projects that equip young people with skills and resources to make, perform and record new music. 

The organisations were among the latest funding recipients announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England (ACE) on Friday, December 11.   

The fund’s capital kickstart grants help cultural organisations cover additional costs caused by Covid-related delays or fundraising shortfalls to capital projects - including building works, refurbishments and large-scale equipment purchases.  

ACE area director for London, Tonya Nelson, said: “We hope that this investment will provide a vital platform for our arts and cultural organisations to navigate these difficult times and come back stronger.” 

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