Newham Council and University of East London announce unique partnership to boost cultural and creative opportunities for young people
Newham Council and University of East London (UEL) announce a collaboration at flagship Stratford Youth Zone that will inject £733,000-a-year investment to support creative and performing arts opportunities for young people in Newham. Located in the heart of Newham’s metropolitan and cultural district, the Council’s flagship Stratford Youth Zone offers young people access to a range of creative spaces including a 310 seat auditorium, a 90 seat studio theatre, plus a rehearsal space and dance studio.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said, “Providing exemplary youth service provision is a central objective of my administration because we want Newham to be the best place for a child and young person to grow up, so that they reach their potential and thrive. Through this pioneering collaboration with the University of East London, the Council’s Youth Empowerment Service will progress with its ambitious plans to offer a range of enriching and empowering opportunities for young people through an exciting curriculum anchored in culture, creativity and the arts. I am thrilled by the prospect and all the possibilities that will come through this collaboration with the University of East London as we accelerate a raft of opportunities for young people in Newham, and nurture our home grown talent.”
Dr Rosemary Stott, Dean of School of Arts and Creative Industries at UEL said, “The University of East London is delighted to be appointed as the Cultural Partner for the Stratford Youth building. We have a strong record in the delivery of cultural and arts programmes which encompass social justice and community engagement. We know the significant impact the arts can have on young people, particularly those who do not have regular access to arts or cultural activities.
“This partnership provides a venue to showcase local community culture and untapped youth talent. It provides new opportunities to access and diversify the talent pipeline for a rapidly changing world – this is core to the mission of the University. Our stages are for everyone.”
University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Amanda Broderick, added, “The University of East London is committed to delivering real and lasting benefits to the communities we serve through our dynamic partnership with Newham Council and in bringing to life a vibrant cultural quarter for and with Stratford.
“Our exciting track record in cultural and arts programming throughout our 125-year history will facilitate the re-invigoration and enrichment of the Stratford Cultural Quarter. We work with an impressive range of partners including East London Dance, V&A East, Newham Music Education Hub, Rosetta Arts and Royal Docks already. We look forward to offering many more opportunities for young people, supporting them as future cultural leaders, producers and artists.”
Through the collaboration, the Council’s flagship Stratford Youth Zone will also offer social and emotional learning programmes along with activities with a focus on drama, music, dance, visual and digital arts.
UEL will introduce education workshops, which will be open to all and be delivered at the Stratford Youth Zone by the talent drawn from the university’s 2,000 arts students. There will also be support for young people to take up work experience placements, mentorships, internships and apprenticeships offering industry experience and pathways to employment for Newham’s young people.
Drawing on its expertise in Creative Practice as well as staff and student expertise in education, youth work, social work, business, events and hospitality, UEL will involve Newham’s young people in both research and the production of arts activities, particularly those who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and at-risk.
UEL staff have substantial experience as practitioners and cultural producers who are able to share their knowledge so students not only become experts in their chosen discipline (as a dancer, choreographer, actor, fashion or games designer, film maker, screenwriter or music producer), but also understand how to succeed in and sustain a career in the creative industries.