Arts consortium to help arts thrive in Leeds


saxunderwaterFour arts charities in West Yorkshire have joined forces to set up a consortium to help the arts scene in Leeds grow, and they are holding an event next week to showcase the cultural, social and health benefits of getting involved in their programmes.

Here to Thrive is a collaboration between Fabric, Chol Theatre, BalbirSingh Dance Company and South Asian Arts UK (SAA-uk) set up with funding from the Arts Council of England.

It provides an opportunity for shared learning and support for the staff and volunteers of the four arts charities as well as a platform to discuss how charitable income can be attracted from new sources including philanthropy, corporate sponsorship and individual giving.

The consortium is holding an event on Thursday 19th March to showcase its skills in supporting artists to develop, helping young people understand their heritage and inspiring people to join the arts community.

The event is being held at the Everyman Cinema in Leeds and will premiere the screening of a film about the consortium, talks from representatives from each charity and the opportunity to meet people who have benefitted from the programme.

Yorkshire’s business leaders will also be in attendance as Here to Thrive sets out its goal to raise £250,000 independently over the next three years.

Bronagh Daly, who is working with the consortium as Business Development Manager said: “We’re really excited to be holding this event and putting into practice all the theory we have discussed around philanthropy.

“It is long over due but interest in arts philanthropy in West Yorkshire is growing and I am delighted at the positive response we have had from potential donors who want to help. With their support the four charities can continue to support artists, young people and their families.”

Over the last year, the member organisations of the consortium have collectively supported over 1000 children in community projects plus another 1556 young people in schools. They’ve also helped almost 150 artists and arts practitioners to find paid professional work opportunities.

Now Here to Thrive wants to continue to grow.
Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, CEO of Leeds based SAA-UK said “We are excited to be fundraising in this new way. The demand for our work is increasing and we appreciate the support we have had from individuals and businesses. Our audience is expanding and they expect to see the best musicians and dancers, most of who have trained through our academies. We are training up the next generation and can only do that if we raise an additional £50,000.

“I am looking forward to welcoming philanthropists and business leaders to our Leeds event to help us to preserve traditional South Asian music and dance and bring them to new audiences in a contemporary way.”

The event will be hosted by Yorkshire based entrepreneur Ajaz Ahmed, the founder of Freeserve (the UK’s first free internet server). He will help introduce Here to Thrive and its work before a special screening of a film about the consortium is shown.

Mr Ahmed commented: “”I’m looking forward to hosting and speaking at the Thrive Arts philanthropy launch. The organisation connects with potential investors to allow their projects to flourish. Its projects make a big difference by touching many people’s lives. The event takes place on the 19th March at Everyman Cinema in Leeds and I look forward to meeting you there.”

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All media enquiries to be directed to Kate Meighan at Galibier PR on 0161 615 1929 /

For more information on Here to Thrive or its partners see

– Notes to Editors –
Here to Thrive is a consortium supported by a £114,000 grant from The Arts Council England through the Catalyst Arts funding scheme.

It is a successful collective of not-for-profit arts organisations working with artists and audiences on both a local and international scale. It is made up of South Asian Arts UK (SAA-uk), Fabric, Chol Theatre and the BalbirSingh Dance Company.

SAA-UK is the lead organisation for the consortium.

The consortium was created to consolidate current funding and combine fundraising resources. It is now strengthening its fundraising arm by calling on Yorkshire’s philanthropists for support, generating its own income and driving further backing through open events and public communications.

Catalyst Arts is a £100 million private giving investment scheme aimed at helping cultural organisations diversify their income streams and access more funding from private sources. The scheme is made up of investment from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).