A FUND which will unlock £1 million of funding to support the creative sector is now open for applications.

Essex County Council’s Arts and Cultural Fund will see the funding supplied over the next five years to support the county’s art and culture sector.

Creative organisations which submit successful applications will see the fund provide grants from £2,500 to £30,000 to deliver projects to help support and rejuvenate the sector, as well as the county’s towns and city high streets.

Since the initial announcement, more than 100 artists and cultural organisations throughout the county have expressed an interest in the fund.

Individual artists and co-operatives, as well as community groups, charities and trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises and private and public organisations are all eligible to apply.

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The new fund aims to rejuvenate the sector which - prior to the pandemic - employed more than 25,000 people and was worth an estimated £2.6 billion to the Essex economy.

Graham Butland, Essex County councillor responsible for devolution, the arts heritage and culture, said: “A thriving creative sector is part of a strong economy and one which will rejuvenate our high streets.”

Applications are open until February 28, via www.explore-essex.com/arts-culture-fund.