A significant grant of over £32,000 from the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland’s Newcastle Culture Investment Fund (NCIF) has been supporting the Circus Central to strengthen the organisation.

The grant, made for core costs, is helping Circus Central to develop their 5 year strategy, cover organisational running costs and create a wide range of outreach packages including their Circus Stories project.

Jo Cundall, Senior Advisor, Culture at the Community Foundation said:

“This is the third year that Newcastle Culture Investment Fund have supported the Circus Central as they recognise the impact that organisation makes. Circus is cleverly used as a gateway to promote physical activity, enhance personal and emotional resilience, inspire creativity and embrace discovery.

“This grant proves why it’s important for the Community Foundation to support core costs, allowing an organisation to put the right infrastructure in place, pay staff and develop their governance. This way organisations are in the best possible position to go out and make a positive impact in their communities”.

Circus Central are based in Elswick and Shieldfield in Newcastle and their mission is to transform lives through the provision of regular and project based circus activities. They use circus to: connect and strengthen individuals of all ages and abilities; develop physical, social, and professional skills; and build confident and resilient communities in the North East of England. Their programmes range from Early Years through to provision for those 55+, all centred on circus in its many forms.

One recent project, Circus Stories, used circus story books to promote school readiness: focusing on literacy, linguistic and cognitive development in young people. They ran termly circus sessions within eight schools reaching 427 students and their teachers so far.

Of the project, Claire Harvey, Education Director at Circus Central said:

“’Full of positivity, aspirations, challenge and encouragement to keep on trying’, this is how Circus Stories was described by a teacher. The team at Circus Central have used the funding from the NCIF stabilisation fund to develop this project and it is going from strength to strength.

“This project lets us engage with young people in schools, allowing them to experience reading for enjoyment and to demonstrate the educational value that circus has to offer. The development of this project would not be possible without the continued support from NCIF, as an organisation we are extremely grateful to have strong and continued belief in the work we are delivering.”

The Newcastle Culture Investment Fund is a partnership with Newcastle City Council and celebrates the power and impact arts and culture have on Newcastle and its residents. It has been running since 2015 and the council recently agreed to continue to support the fund until 2026

The fund provides revenue and project funding to a wide portfolio of art forms. Successful grantees maintain the vision for culture, address health and well-being, create good quality jobs and develop people’s skills, support communities to look after each other and their environment and tackle inequality.