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Mayor's funding helps bring world class arts development to London's East End
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, and Oona King, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, will this evening speak at the launch of the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, a major arts project being developed in the East End of London.
The Mayor has provided £3.7m towards the development of the project, through the London Development Agency, the Mayor's economic development agency for the capital. Other funding of £1.95m has been provided through the Single Regeneration Budget, which is also managed by the LDA.
Over £12m has been raised so far towards the total costs of approximately £16m that is needed. The centre will house a range of facilities, including recording facilities, cinemas, gallery space and a café, and is due to open in 2004.
The Mayor said
'The Rich Mix centre will create a major landmark for a pivotal part of London that links the East End and the City of London. Tower Hamlets has been for hundreds of years home to immigrant communities, who have helped build London's prosperity and added to its rich cultural heritage. Today there is a substantial Bangladeshi community, as well as other minority ethnic populations. It is also one of the poorest areas in the UK, so Rich Mix should be seen as a powerful agent of change.'
The Mayor underlined his support for the creative industries and the role they have in London's economic success:
'I want to continue working with business and am pleased that my economic development agency we can offer support to major projects such as Rich Mix. The cultural and creative industries are a key economic growth area and can offer significant employment opportunities. They also have the potential to unify communities. Rich Mix is important because it celebrates diversity and most importantly aims to be accessible to all Londoners, including the local Asian community, people working in the City and young people studying, or working in the creative industries.'
Commenting on Rich Mix's commitment to education and links with the Whitechapel Gallery and Guildhall University, the Mayor said:
'We need to keep an eye to the future. It is right that Rich Mix is focusing on education, training and skills development that are integrated into its activities and are accessible to all sections of the community. I hope this will bring future benefits for the local community living in one of the UK's most deprived areas, as well as the creative industries.'
The launch event will be an opportunity to tour the new development and look at visuals and architectural models and there will be live music, including Asian Dub Foundation and dance performance by Udichi.
Notes to Editors
Further details are available from Ben McKnight on 020 7983 4071\ 07881 501 920
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