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Secretary of State announces India Cultural Exchange Fund

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new £1.5million lottery fund to build creative connections between the people of England and India.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Speaking in New Delhi today, the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed new funding to provide English artists and arts organisations with opportunities to develop collaborations and cultural exchanges with their Indian counterparts. The scheme will be run by British Council and Arts Council England.

The scheme will give grants of £15,000-£100,000 to support projects which will:

  • Promote creative collaborations
  • Showcase the best of UK and Indian arts across a range of art forms and activity
  • Reach beyond England’s major cities and India’s metropolitan areas
  • Connect English and Indian artists with diaspora communities in England
  • Build skills and have a real impact
  • Use digital technology

Organisations can apply from January 2015 for smaller sums to develop new ideas and explore different partnerships and ways of working, or for larger grants to realise those project ideas and ambitions. There will be a second round of funding in 2016 and activity is expected to peak during 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.

In addition to this £1.5m investment, the British Council has committed £5million to the Re: Imagine Arts programme which runs from 2013-2017.

Speaking during his visit to India, UK Secretary of State for Culture Sajid Javid said:

This is a brilliant project, not simply because of the creative links that will be formed but also because it will reach artists and audiences in communities that are sometimes overlooked, but whose passion for culture burns just as brightly as for those in the big cities. The fund will promote creative collaborations and showcase the best of UK and Indian arts across a range of artforms and activity, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this five-year programme grow and prosper long into the future.

Graham Sheffield, Director Arts, British Council said:

The British Council is delighted to be working with Arts Council England to provide this opportunity for new artistic collaborations between India and the UK. Both our countries have vibrant creative sectors and we hope that these grants, alongside our ongoing Re-Imagine programme, will lead to new links between artists, institutions and businesses in both our countries.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair Arts Council England said:

This programme is an exciting opportunity for artists and cultural organisations to exchange ideas and influences and to make new work together. It will open up opportunities not just for the individual artists involved but also for audiences both here and abroad - we will all see the benefits these cultural exchanges bring to our enriched creative sector.

Published 15 October 2014