Today the Big Lottery Fund has announced £397,572 in support of The Agency – a project that works with local young people in London and Manchester to help make their entrepreneurial ideas a reality.
Liz Moreton, Senior Producer at Battersea Arts Centre:
‘Through The Agency we’ve seen young people find an extraordinary inner-strength and confidence in themselves and their ideas, demonstrating what happens when we value and take young people seriously. It has been a privilege to support young people to develop the tools and resilience they need to get their ideas off the ground.
We believe that young people play a crucial role in transforming and changing the communities and cities in which we live. The Agency enables young people to become leaders – an incredibly powerful thing for young people who have never been in that position before.’
Suzie Henderson, Head of Creative Development at Contact:
‘The project shows the incredible value that art and creativity have on transforming young lives, well beyond the normal reach of the arts. It has been so exciting to see the young people who have participated in The Agency flourish in their skills and confidence and we can’t wait to start recruiting new groups of young people.’
Andrew Barnett, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK:
‘We are delighted to see the important work of ‘The Agency’ that we supported to incubate and pilot over the last two years being taken forward by the BLF. Sustaining and supporting to scale such work will ensure more young people are able to fulfil their potential and positively impact the communities they live in. As an International Foundation it is fantastic to see how ideas can be ‘translated’ with new collaborations into new settings. This also demonstrates what can be done when small and large funders work together in the funding ecology for social change.’
Applications are now open to join The Agency 2015-16 and we are looking for young people aged 15-25 from Clapham Junction and Battersea, with ideas that need to happen. Find out more and apply by 16 October.
The Agency is a collaboration between Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Manchester in conjunction with People’s Palace Projects which is now in its third year. The pilot years were funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It is modeled on the successful Brazilian project Agenica Redes Para Juventude.
The support that The Agency will receive is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Awards for All’ and ‘Reaching Communities’ programmes.