Creative community projects vital for Brexit success - Culture Secretary


Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has said developing inclusive community projects that encourage young people into the creative industries is vital in ensuring that Brexit is a success.

Mr Hancock was speaking at an event at London's Roundhouse where plans for a new centre for young creative and digital entrepreneurs were unveiled.

The new development will be built on the existing Grade II listed performing arts and concert venue site in Camden, and The Norman Trust, which supports the Roundhouse's cause, hopes to encourage more young people to take part in creative opportunities over the next four years.

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Asked if the Government's preoccupation with its negotiations with Brussels may inhibit its support for similar projects, Mr Hancock said: "The truth is what we've got to ask ourselves is 'what kind of country are we going to be after we leave the EU?'

"My answer to that is that we must be an open, outward-looking and creative country, and entrepreneurial.

"This project does all of those things. The story that we tell about ourselves after we leave the EU is mission critical to our success.

"It is projects like these that are going to help contribute to that success. This would be a good project whether we had Brexit or not."

He added: "The fact that we've got to make this work as a nation, and I think that we can, makes it even more important that we have projects like this."

The newly-announced centre is intended to house office space for networking and mentoring, rehearsal space and two new sound-proofed music studios.

It is intended for people aged between 18 and 30 as they begin their careers in creative industries.

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The Roundhouse's ambitious plans are in line with the charity's intention to double the number of young people who engage in its creative community activities to at least 10,000 per year by 2022.

There will be office space for young people to use to access masterclasses, advice and mentoring, connections to industry partners and networking opportunities.

It will also offer three large state-of-the-art rehearsal spaces in addition to the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios, which is already housed underneath the Roundhouse's main auditorium.

The land, valued at £5 million, has been donated by the Norman Trust, and planning permission has been granted, but a further £5.1 million needs to be raised to complete the project.

The initiative is part of the Roundhouse's commitment to working with young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to give them the opportunities to access creative projects and support careers in the creative industries.