Applications are now open for a £3 million funded research and development programme that will eventually see 10 original and large-scale public engagement projects take place in 2022.
Festival UK (working title) has opened applications for the R&D phase of the project, which hopes to showcase science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
At the end of the application process (which closes on October 16) up to 30 teams, each receiving up to £100,000, will be selected to participate in the R&D programme to originate ideas for projects that have the potential to reach millions of people.
Ideas are not a requirement of application process but creative teams must be able to demonstrate they have the skills and collaborators needed to meet a set of criteria against which they will be assessed.
The UK Government has allocated £120 million of new investment to the festival, including £22.8 million to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devolved administrations, which will ultimately allow for the commissioning of up to 10 major projects in the final public programme for 2022. The festival will create opportunities for jobs within sectors significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Four of the 10 commissions will each be led by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who will directly appoint up to two creative teams drawn from within their nations to take part in the R&D process.
Six commissions will be driven by creative teams from across the UK and beyond.
All 10 commissions will be global in reach.
The 10 commissions will be launched under a new festival name at the end of 2021 and take place throughout 2022.
Martin Green, chief creative officer of Festival UK 2022, previously head of ceremonies for London 2012, said of the project and R&D programme: “I am thrilled to be leading this project. Festival UK 2022 will be a series of ten large-scale, thought -provoking, wonder-inducing projects. They will bring people together in unique and astounding ways and showcase our innovation and creativity across the globe. To create work that is groun-breaking and compelling we are investing in idea creation through this R&D phase. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with colleagues from different creative fields. A chance to discover new collaborators and celebrate under-represented talents. The aim is a national celebration of all our creativity. An unprecedented demonstration of the crucial, magical role that creativity can play to make life better.
Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, also commented: “We’re looking for the finest creative minds to help show the world what is possible when England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland come together and champion all that is great about our United Kingdom. The winning applicants will receive £3 million to turn their ideas into spectacular, unforgettable realities. This investment will support jobs and create new work across these sectors in all four corners of the UK as we help our cultural and creative industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”