19 March 2013

Northamptonshire is set to host a new international arts programme following a €200,000 EU cash boost.

Northamptonshire County Council, working with colleagues in Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership’s European office as well as project partners in Ireland and Spain, has secured the funding from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive of the European Commission towards the contemporary visual and digital arts programme CHANGING TRACKS, part of the European Union’s Culture Programme 2007 to 2013.

CHANGING TRACKS will see the creation of nine outdoor temporary artworks by up and coming artists that respond and relate to former railway lines, their heritage and their future.

There will be three artworks in each participating region – County Mayo in Ireland, Catalonia in Spain and also in Northamptonshire where the preferred location to be confirmed is the former Northampton to Peterborough railway line in the Nene Valley, in 2014 marking fifty years since the lines closure. The art installations will take place during Spring and Summer 2014.

In total, 476 applications were submitted from across Europe, with 114 selected for funding.

Councillor Heather Smith, cabinet member for customers and communities said: “We believe that CHANGING TRACKS is the first arts project from Northamptonshire to have successfully secured the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union, demonstrating the benefits of us having a Northamptonshire presence at the centre of the EC.

“The project will build on the legacy of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which saw several successful arts and cultural projects such as FLOW, SHINE and GLOBAL FOOTPRINT be enjoyed by thousands of people across the county.”

Richard Woods, Head of European Investment at Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership said: "Tourism plays a significant role in the county’s economy, contributing over £20 million a year, and projects such as CHANGING TRACKS play an important part in Northamptonshire’s cultural offering. Working to promote Northamptonshire as a great place to live, visit and do business is a key objective for Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

"NEP provided a key role in supporting Northamptonshire County Council to secure this funding, and, along with innovative approaches to destination marketing such as Love Northamptonshire, a collaboration with marketers from private sector employers locally, we continue to work to support this objective."