Arts Council funding delivers red letter day for Bath Spa University’s creative writing incubator

November 24, 2022

Bath Spa University’s creative writing incubator has been announced as one of only a handful of cultural organisations in the South West to be awarded Arts Council England funding over the next three years.

Paper Nations will receive a total investment of £603,060 from Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). 

The funding will be used to further nurture an appreciation for the art of writing in people of all ages and from all walks of life across the region and beyond.

In addition to the funding, NPO status carries with it a significant degree of national prestige. Awarded in recognition of its contribution to the wider cultural sector.

Building on its success and partnerships since its inception in 2016, Paper Nations has most recently explored the importance of diversity and innovation in creative writing and plans to announce its next phase of activity in the spring.

Paper Nations, part of Bath Spa’s Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE), is the only organisation in the city to secure investment from this latest round of funding.

Others gaining this level of recognition in the region include Bristol Old Vic, Bristol media centre and cinema Watershed, Bristol Museums and Bristol art gallery Arnolfini. 

Bath Spa pro-vice-chancellor for research and enterprise Prof John Strachan, said: “We are delighted to see the university’s contribution to the cultural and arts sector recognised in this way.

“I would like to congratulate all those involved in achieving this mark of national esteem. As a university, we are committed to continuing to make a positive impact within the South West and this investment will enable us to reach even more people.

“We stand in good company as we strive to demonstrate the importance of publicly funded culture and creativity.

Bath Spa professor of story and Paper Nations founder Prof Bambo Soyinka added: I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the creative development and growth of Paper Nations over the past five years.

“We couldn’t have achieved this without you. Our proposed portfolio of activities presents some exciting opportunities and I am honoured to be working alongside the region’s creative arts trailblazers, to make a difference to people’s lives, and bring them together in this way.”

Arts Council England South West director Phil Gibby said: “We are excited to be welcoming Paper Nations in our 2023-26 National Portfolio. As a national development agency, we recognise that while talent is everywhere, opportunity is not.

“Paper Nations show a commitment in nurturing literature in Bath and North East Somerset and support budding writers of all ages and backgrounds, from across the South West.

“They will help us realise our ambition in relation to our vision set out in Let’s Create, particularly around building a creative and cultural country where everyone can flourish.”



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