News: Déda – Derby secures continued funding from Arts Council England

One of the East Midlands leading Dance organisations secures continuation funding from Arts Council England in the latest round of National Portfolio funding.

Déda is a centre for Dance, Movement and Creativity, based in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter in Derby – connecting with audiences and participants both locally, nationally and internationally. Each year it attracts 54,000 visitors to its building.

With funding secured, Déda is now looking forward to a future that sets the city of Derby at the heart of its plans but, at the same time, continuing its ambition to be a vital cultural resource for the whole of the Midlands, the UK, and beyond.

Upon receiving news of the Arts Council funding, Steve Slater, Director of Déda said:
“We are delighted to receive this news, as it will enable us to reimagine our programmes and to be bold and accessible with our outdoor activities. Déda is evolving, becoming more innovative, diverse, and outward facing – enriching the lives of our close communities – creating a programme that blurs the lines between art, organisation, internationalism, and neighbourhood. Knowing that we have secured our core funding once more, gives us the ability and freedom to start making sustained plans for our future.”

Steve Slater, Director of Déda- photography credit- Tom Wren

One such project that Déda will be working on is to create a ‘15-minute city’, the context of which is based on a residential urban concept in which most daily necessities carried out by city residents can be accomplished by either walking or cycling from their homes. Déda will work closely with the residents and communities which fall within a 15-minute walk or cycle of its building, spotlighting the location and availability as a communally accessible space for everyone. Be that to eat, be entertained or educated.

Steve continued: “The impact of the pandemic on society and the arts industry has been profound. As we face the consequences of this, coupled with the economic difficulties forced upon us by rising fuel bills, the need for arts organisations such as Déda to strengthen, build and secure audiences and participants has never been greater.

Our aim is simply to attempt to build an arts community that is stronger together that will benefit the community at large – to connect with other organisations and businesses who have a cultural offer in our part of the city, as well as with artists, creatives, freelancers, students, schools, volunteers and community – with a focus on the communities around us that are from low socio-economic groups, and to involve them in our activity/introduce them to arts and culture through this project.”

Déda’, set in the Cathedral Quarter of Derby, where it hopes to attract more visitors and engage new audiences and participants as part of its 15-minute city’ concept


Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said: “Déda creates innovative dance, circus and outdoor performances and we’re delighted to be supporting their work over the next three years. Our funding will support them to continue entertaining audiences by delivering Derby Festé, an annual festival of outdoor arts, which inspires local, national and international audiences.”

With secured funding, Déda’s vision is to embrace the philosophy of Art Council England’s 10-year strategy ‘Lets Create’. It will do this by:

Adapting its programmes as part of a wider plan to prepare Déda for proposed changes to the local area under the city’s ‘Northern Quarter’ proposed redevelopment.

The building itself will change and adapt; with a more vibrant programme of events and engagement, new bar facilities and new entrance that invites people directly into the heart of the building and will make it a hub for local arts activity and recreation.

Déda Formerly known as Derby Dance Centre, Déda was initially established as a local development dance agency based at Derby Playhouse in 1991. Déda moved into its new home on Chapel St in 1998, opened by Mark Fisher, the Minister for Arts. Changing its name to Déda in 2008.

Its purpose is to celebrate the benefits of dance, movement & creativity with every body. Its vision is to enrich people’s lives through dance, movement, and creativity, producing hyper-local yet international facing work of relevance and place.

Its mission is to become the creative space in Derby to meet, eat, think and move; a place where diverse, imaginative dance, movement and creative engagement is nurtured; inspiring artists, participants and audiences of all ages, cultures and means, to make and enjoy art that moves.

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