Talent money axed
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 August 2010
PORTISHEAD teenagers are counting their lucky stars after securing places at the town's summer rock academy just days before the announcement of its closure.
PORTISHEAD teenagers are counting their lucky stars after securing places at the town’s summer rock academy just days before the announcement of its closure.
Scores of youngsters have signed up for the two-week course at Portishead Youth Centre, which offers tuition in music and dance.
This will be the fourth and final programme of its kind to run at the Harbour Road centre after the Government announced the end of the Find Your Talent programme, which funds the academy, with immediate effect.
The budding musicians say they are devastated over the withdrawal of any future music academies and will miss the opportunities they have presented.
Gordano School student Joe Painter said: “This is a blow for young people in Portishead.
“The rock and dance academies have given us a positive focus and allowed us not only to develop our musical and artistic talents but has also given us the chance to perform live to a wide audience.
“There’s not enough for young people in this town and the project will be missed by a lot of people.”
North Somerset Council was selected to take part in the pilot scheme for Find Your Talent, which created opportunities for children and young people to take part in cultural activities from dance to theatre, art to animation, literature to film making. The Government’s decision to withdraw the funding has brought the curtain down on hundreds of projects across North Somerset.
In the past these have also included allowing pupils at Nailsea’s Middle Years Referral Unit to learn graffiti skills before creating their own mural.
In Clevedon, The Curzon Community Cinema was a key partner in the Find Your Talent programme, giving schoolchildren in the town the chance to create their own films.
North Somerset Council’s cultural programmer Stuart Wood said: “It’s obviously very disappointing for us as we were entering the final and most exciting phase of work, but it’s been particularly disappointing for thousands of young people whose projects have been cancelled.
“The effect of the loss of the programme will have a huge impact in North Somerset where there aren’t many opportunities for young people.
“However, Find Your Talent has left an important legacy and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that as much of the legacy as possible is protected as we close the programme down.”
This year’s Portishead Rock and Dance Academy will run between August 16-25 from 10.30am-4pm Monday to Wednesday. The cost is just £5.
Anyone wishing to take part should complete a registration available from the youth centre, by calling 01275 842461 or by visiting www.portisheadyouthcentre.co.uk