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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 03:39 GMT 04:39 UK
Lottery cash boost to arts events
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Newcastle's cultural landmarks will be celebrated
Nearly 20m of National Lottery money is to be spent on cultural events in cities and towns across the UK.

The events will take place over the next two years and range from theatre and dance projects to festivals celebrating Indian cinema and jazz.

Nineteen areas have been awarded grants through the Urban Cultural Programme.

The largest single grant of 2.75m has gone to Newcastle and Gateshead for, among other things, a river festival and a celebration of cultural buildings.

The Urban Cultural Programme is a spin-off from the European Capital of Culture competition, which was won by Liverpool for the year 2008.

Our arts are world-class
Tessa Jowell
Culture Secretary
That prompted ideas for arts events, many of which will now benefit from 19.5m in lottery grants from the Millennium Commission and the Arts Council, England.

Tessa Jowell MP, Culture Secretary and chair of The Millennium Commission, said: "The European City of Culture competition stimulated the creation of a wonderful range of creative and ambitious plans in cities across the UK.

"The Lottery-funded Urban Cultural Programme will mean that many of those aspirations can become reality.

"Our arts are world-class. They fire our children's imaginations, promote social inclusion, celebrate our cultural diversity and help driving the regeneration of our cities."

Birmingham City Council receives 2.1m for new works of theatre, dance, opera, orchestral music and outdoors arts.

A 750,000 sum goes to events in Canterbury and East Kent, including a storytelling project on asylum.


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