Accessibility Tools

21 May 2024

Consultancy Team Generates Significant Long-Term Cultural Development

Great news from our fabulous consultancy team, as the latest successful bid takes the amount of funds raised for our clients in the last financial year to over £1,000,000.

Wow! Here’s just a few of the projects that we’ve supported our clients to prepare successful applications for…

We’ve been supporting and working with Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) since 2015 and we’re thrilled when long-term relations show the value of integrated consultancy work. We’ve helped with fundraising, event delivery, recruitment, board development. Most recently, we even supported them through a successful National Portfolio application, so it’s great to start the year with a successful bid on their behalf.

We’ve developed 5 successful funding applications for them this year, ranging from £4000 to over £100,000. The first success was an application to the National Lottery Community Fund to support them to deliver ‘Beyond Identity’, which will deliver a series of textile-making workshops, based on climate change and the plants that disappear from nature. Local community members, women displaced by war, ESOL students and those studying fashion at MK College joined creative forces to create Islamic-inspired patterns on natural materials. They were also equipped with hands-on tools to make natural colours to dye textiles and learnt about slow fashion, sustainability, and the fashion industry’s impact on climate change.

Another programme that will have significant long-term impact on the participants is now being delivered by The Music Partnership in Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford & Wrekin. Thanks to a successful application to the Youth Music Catalyser Fund an award of £99,000 is now training more music teachers to have the confidence to deliver sessions for children with SEND or in Pupil Referral Unit settings. As well as supporting music leaders through training and gaining experience in delivery, the project builds on the success of methods that have been developed by their inclusion specialist, who is now able to develop resources for teachers to use and mentor music leaders to achieve a long-lasting impact on making music more accessible to all children and young people.

Meanwhile, in the north-west, we’ve been assisting old friends, and musicians that have appeared at several of our festivals, Manchester-based Amani Creatives. Amani Creatives develops and promotes artists of African genres and creates professional platforms to showcase their work. Thanks to funds granted of £77,457 from National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), the team can begin to work on their next project exploring and celebrating African communities in Manchester. Fumbo: Tales of African Riddles from the north-west will uncover and record naming stories from the African diaspora community, create portraits that explain this heritage as an exhibition, presented physically and digitally, as well as archive the information for future generations to access.

Further fundraising activities, a little further south, with Jelly in Reading also gained grants from National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver All Roads, a project that links two of Jelly’s craft groups to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). The project celebrates the domestic sewing skills of women, bringing together women from different cultures to share their craft traditions, and exploring links with the quilting collections at MERL.

It’s rewarding for the team to know about the depths of engagement that these projects will develop over years to come. Successful applications are great, but the real reward comes from knowing that through each of these successful applications engagement with culture and heritage increases. Whether it’s through professional development for performance, archiving important oral histories, creating the next generation of music teachers or inspiring participants with creative workshops, our team know full well the benefit of creative and cultural engagement in all forms.

One of the largest scale bids we’ve developed this year is for the truly massive undertaking that is Beach of Dreams 2025, an ambitious and inspirational yearlong project led by Kinetika. They are an internationally renowned female-led company with a 25-year track record of combining world-class bespoke designs on large-scale hand-painted silks with community projects to produce spectacular outdoor events. Beach of Dreams is a mass participatory coastal UK wide festival that will take place in May and June 2025, and tour into 2026. Beach of Dreams brings together a partnership of arts, cultural, environmental and community organisations across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland to create an international movement that makes a positive response to coastal climate change. Eight partners around the UK and the Republic of Ireland will work with their coastal communities to engage people in creative outdoor activity devised by eight commissioned artists to co-create with local communities’ new artworks along specific stretches of the coastline. Over 100 organisations will take part in artist-led creative walking activity along the UK and Irish coastline to learn, share stories, and make pledges for their futures. We are proud to have helped raise £400,000 from Arts Council England’s Nationally Significant Projects Fund towards the activities in England. The range of creative activities, experiences and a new digital platform will enable people to articulate their dreams for a better future.

One of the latter and smaller grants awarded in the financial year brings us back to Milton Keynes. MÓTUS is a dance charity founded by the late Helen Parlor investing in strong, diverse artistic collaborations and partnerships to increase reach and engagement in dance across all community sectors in Milton Keynes. Our work with MÓTUS has focused on fundraising activity and planning and it’s important to us that we’re able to support grass roots development too and achieve a legacy for Helen’s vision. A grant from Milton Keynes Community Foundation will help to kickstart JUMP START ‘24 – a dynamic youth dance platform presented for young dancers in Milton Keynes and the surrounding regions. It is a chance for dancers to perform, work with professionals, take part in workshops and talks, and meet other young dancers in a supportive environment.

Each and every pound raised here will generate cultural engagement, the impact of which can generate inspiration and act as a catalyst for positive change, and for some of the participants, achieve a change that could last a lifetime.

We’re in awe of the inspirational people we work with and the, currently, unforeseen impact of these programmes is something that we’re truly proud to be involved with and see unfold.

If you’d like to know more about our Cultural Consultancy support and services, you can contact us by phone (01162 616 882) or email


JUMP START '24 performance presented by MÓTUS. The stage shows a number of dancers, mid-performance, in traditional Asian outfits.

JUMP START '24 performance presented by MÓTUS, photo Simon Beckett, Factotum Film

This image shows a dancer on stage facing an audience. The dancer is leading the audience through a seated warm-up exercise.

JUMP START '24 presented by MÓTUS, photo Simon Beckett, Factotum Film

This image shows a woman singing into a microphone and behind is a man with a baseball cap playing bass guitar. They are standing in front of a banner for Journeys Festival International.

Image: Drew Forsyth Photography, Amani Creatives perform at Journeys Festival International Manchester 2018

This image shows a band on stage featuring a female singer, a male keyboard player and a male bass player. The image shows a huge blue curtain behind the band and they are standing in front of a banner for Journeys Festival International.

Image: Drew Forsyth Photography, Amani Creatives perform at Journeys Festival International Manchester 2018

A series of painted silk pennants are decorating an open hillside. A group of people are also holding pennants in the air.

Image: Mike Johnston, Kinetica's Beach of Dreams

In a wide open space near a river people are walking with painted silk flags in their hand and the wind is blowing the flags in the air.

Image: Mike Johnston, Kinetica's Beach of Dreams