Tuesday 28 July 2020

Belfast design and innovation studio Urban Scale Interventions will explore creative ways to reinvent underused rooftops in a new €2 million (£1.8 million) Creative Europe project.

Rooftops make up to 35 per cent of Europe’s urban landscape. Creating cultural venues and community spaces in these underused spaces can help tackle the challenges posed by environmental change and economic inequality.

Jak Spencer, Partner at Urban Scale Interventions, said: "It's never been more important to have public spaces that can support healthy, social lives. Belfast has a rich and diverse urban landscape. This grant will help us to explore how our underutilised rooftops can be better used for social, cultural and climate activities, while connecting us with other cultural cities across Europe".

To kick off the project, Urban Scale Interventions will map Belfast’s rooftops to understand what is currently available in the city.

Urban Scale Interventions is the first Northern Ireland partner to get funding since 2017. It has partnered with eight cultural and municipal organisations across Europe to form the European Creative Rooftop Network. Partners span Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Chemnitz, Faro, Gothenburg, Nicosia and Rotterdam.

Creative Europe is the EU’s funding programme to support the creative and cultural sectors. British Council Northern Ireland hosts the Creative Europe Desk in Northern Ireland.

Creative Europe is awarding €1.75 million (£1.6 million) to 22 UK organisations from all four UK nations in its 2020 Cooperation Projects. Cooperation Projects are joint cultural initiatives with European countries, ranging from performing arts to heritage and music.

Rosie Le Garsmeur, British Council Northern Ireland, said: “I’m excited to see how Urban Scale Innovations will explore the potential in towns and cities for more creative, social uses.  It’s wonderful to see Belfast connecting with fellow diverse cities like Barcelona and Rotterdam through this project.”

This year’s funding call created UK partnerships with 29 of the 40 other countries which take part in Creative Europe. This shows how UK cultural, creative and heritage organisations continue to value and be valuedwhen collaborating with European counterparts. 

In the Creative Europe programme from 2014-20 UK organisations benefitted from a total of €23,800,000 (£21,600,000) funding.

From next year UK organisations can join cross-border Cooperation Projects as ‘associate partners’, alongside countries such as Canada and Japan.

Notes to Editor

More information about Creative Europe can be found at www.creativeeuropeuk.eu/news

Please contact jak@urbanscaleinterventions.com with any suggestions of buildings or places with rooftop space.

For further information please contact:

Amber Mezbourian, media relations officer: M +44 (0)754 226 9345  | amber.mezbourian@britishcouncil.org | Twitter: @BCouncil_NI | Facebook: www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland | Instagram: britishcouncilnorthernireland

Megan James, Marketing and Communications Manager, Creative Europe Desk UK: M +44 (0)777 646 3219 | megan.james@britishcouncil.org| Twitter: @CEDUK_Culture

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.


Creative Europe Desk UK

In each country that takes part in EU funding programme Creative Europe, there is an information and promotion office which supports potential and current stakeholders with their applications. The team members of Creative Europe Desk UK are based across the UK, in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. Creative Europe Desk UK is led by the British Council and the British Film Institute, in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Welsh Government, and with support from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the European Commission.


Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the European Union's programme to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors. From 2014-2020, the EU is investing €1.46 billion in the creative industries through one unified programme, Creative Europe. Creative Europe supports European projects with the potential to travel and find audiences beyond their national borders. Launched in 2014, Creative Europe brings together a Culture sub-programme, which provides funding for the cultural and creative sectors to collaborate across borders, and a MEDIA sub-programme, which invests in cinema, television, new media and games. Match funding is required by participating organisations. Creative Europe is open to all EU Member States plus 11 non-EU countries.

Cooperation Projects

There are two types of Cooperation Projects. Small Cooperation Projects involve a partnership of at least three organisations from different eligible countries and up to €200,000 can be applied for. Large projects bring together a partnership of at least six organisations from different eligible countries and up to €2 million can be applied for. The Cooperation Projects strand supports cross-border projects between cultural and creative organisations within the EU and beyond, which can cover one or more cultural and creative sectors and can be interdisciplinary. These projects must be shown to support capacity building, audience development or cross-border mobility, and achieve results that are more than the sum of the activities in the different countries.

Creative Europe and Brexit

The UK will not be seeking to participate in the next Creative Europe programme, due to start in January 2021.  This will not affect projects funded under the current programme (2014 - 2020) which will receive funding for their full duration under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, including projects that continue after 1 January 2021. Creative Europe Desk UK will continue to support the UK sectors to access the opportunities that exist between now and the end of the current programme, with several additional calls expected in 2020. See the Creative Europe Desk UK Brexit and UK Participation update for full details.