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Cash is music to our ears.

Byline: Joanne Emmerson

Creative minds on Teesside are set to benefit from a pounds 3.8m European grant for cultural development.

The money was awarded to the North-east region after a successful bid by the Arts Council.

Around pounds 1m of that money will be spent exclusively in the Tees Valley area.

Other projects on Teesside will also benefit from more cash through schemes that are regionwide.

The total value of the investment across the region has been boosted to pounds 8.5m after 15 companies, organisations and agencies promised to match the European grant.

Jane Robinson, Director of External Relations at Arts Council England, North-east, said: "This money will see a lot of projects coming through, for example Studio 64 in Middlesbrough will be doing things to develop local festival activity such as From Teesside with Love."

As well as developing "fun and entertainment" for local people, the money will also be spent on developing skills within the creative industries.

With an estimated 30,000 people in the North-east working for 3,000 small businesses within the creative industries, Mrs Robinson is keen to see people develop skills such as DJ-ing.

Studio 64 is just one of many projects set to benefit from the European cash.

The music specialists, who have recording studios and rehearsal space for signed and unsigned bands, have identified a number of musicians, dancers and artists across the creative arts that it thinks will benefit from creative and cultural development.

Paul Burns, director of development at Studio 64, said: "It's going to be excellent. This is a genuine offer on behalf of a Government office to make sure that grassroots groups are getting a fair bite of the cherry.

"It's about developing the business side for artists as well as the performance."

Also among those earmarked for funding are Radio Riverside.

Organisers were delighted to learn the news.

The Internet radio station, a joint project run by the University of Teesside and Tees Valley Online, currently broadcasts on Monday evenings and also covers community events, including the recent Mela festival.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 23, 2003
Words:345
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