Exciting new openings for young people have been secured at The Garage following an award of more than £100k.
The Norwich-based centre received a total of £113,600 from V, a charity set up to inspire 16-25 year olds in England to volunteer.
The grant will create more than 150 new volunteering opportunities for young people throughout the region.
"We're putting young people in the driving seat and giving them a chance to actively contribute to their communities," said Darren Grice, general manager of The Garage.
Over the next 12 months, seven arts production companies will be created across the eastern counties, each led by young people and all aiming to meet a need identified in their community.
The projects will be developed under The Garage's Blueprint scheme.
"Blueprint aims to empower young people to help bring about change or address a need within their community," said Darren Grice.
"Each group will be different, drawing from different arts skills and experience. What ties them together is the community theme.
"For instance, one group may develop a road safety play for primary schools, another may produce a website for young people, or a social music and dancing event for older people in their area," he added.
|Youth dance session at The Garage|
Those involved in the project will be supported within the Arts Award framework, which recognises young people's development as artists and arts leaders.
The Arts Awards are given at three levels - bronze, silver and gold - and are run through a unique collaboration between Arts Council England, Trinity Guildhall and local partners like The Garage.
"Young people in each group will gain a variety of transferable skills that will help to equip them with the skills they need to progress onto further education, training or employment," said Darren Grice.
"Ultimately it will help them establish themselves as productive and valuable members of the community.
"All over the world it is recognised that the arts have an important role to play in community cohesion and education.
"What's so important about the Blueprint project is that it places young people right at the core of this process, giving them ownership, responsibility, respect and most importantly, the opportunity to use their skills and enthusiasm to effect positive change," he added.
To get involved with the Blueprint project and Arts Awards at The Garage call 01603 283382.