10 teams to lead celebration of creativity and innovation in 2022

High-skilled oil and gas workers and the supply chain will not be left behind in transition to low carbon future as landmark North Sea Transition Deal is agreed with industry. Ten creative teams from across the UK have been selected to develop a series of events, public engagement programmes and virtual projects as part of the Festival UK* 2022

London: Ten creative teams from across the UK have been selected to develop a series of events, public engagement programmes and virtual projects as part of the Festival UK* 2022, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced today.

Festival UK* 2022 is a major UK-wide festival of creativity and innovation, which will feature 10 major public engagement projects designed to reach millions, bring people together and showcase the UK’s creativity globally.

The teams have been selected from 30 shortlisted projects that took part in a paid research and development phase, following a rigorous assessment. They will now be tasked with taking their ideas through to completion ready for next year’s festival.

2022 is set to be a year of celebration for the UK with three major events, Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Commonwealth Games and Festival UK* 2022 all set to take place.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

These ten showstopper projects will wow audiences in towns and cities right across the country, and show off the UK and its creative genius to the world.

Alongside the Commonwealth Games and Platinum Jubilee, they will make 2022 a year to remember, bringing the nation together as we build back stronger from the pandemic.

Chief Creative Officer for Festival UK* 2022 Martin Green said:

We asked 500 of the best creative minds in the UK to tell us what a festival of creativity could be. What they came up with has exceeded our expectations, and then some, which made deciding which 10 teams to commission very difficult. We believe the extraordinary breadth of talent, their thrilling ideas and geographic spread, will be ground-breaking, inspiring and exciting for millions of people across the UK and further afield.

The Festival, backed by £120 million of funding from the UK government, will be a showcase of UK British science, technology, engineering, arts and maths and the ten teams selected to take part will help to develop world-class talent and highlight the very best of British creativity and innovation.

The teams have been selected following an R&D phase that provided opportunities for 500 organisations and more than 100 freelancers, as well as emerging and under-represented talent – with more opportunities to come as the 10 projects are developed.

Drawn from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they have been deliberately asked to work across borders to ensure the Festival brings together the whole country.

Each team was asked to develop ideas that would celebrate the UK and promote it on the world stage, as well as support the levelling up agenda.

The 10 teams will now develop major creative projects for the festival, which will reach millions globally, bring people together and showcase UK creativity to the world.

Dame Vikki Heywood CBE, chairman of Festival UK* 2022 board, said:

It has been incredibly exciting to see hundreds of creative people from across the UK collaborate so imaginatively at such a difficult time and we’ve been bowled over by the positive response of those taking part in the R&D process. As the 10 commissioned projects go forward there will be many opportunities for everyone to participate in creative experiments across the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Maths from all ages and all corners of the UK in 2022.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Frank McCoubrey said:

We are impressed by the innovation and diversity of the work that has been carried out across all regions during the R&D project. It has provided much-needed support to local creatives during a challenging period and demonstrated how good teamwork creates strength and synergy. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how the final projects develop and shape this exciting festival and we’re confident that the Northern Ireland collaboration will further strengthen our already flourishing STEAM and cultural sectors.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair work and Culture Fiona Hyslop said:

It has been inspiring to see the Scottish STEM and creative sectors work together and share their talents throughout this process. This is an important opportunity to support freelancers and organisations in these sectors as we begin our recovery from the pandemic. I look forward to seeing how the successful Scottish team and the other shortlisted teams develop in the next phase of this collaborative project.

Welsh Government Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:

It’s very exciting news that we’re now embarking on the next phase of the project. During what’s been the most challenging of years, I’m delighted that we can help these sectors as we all look forward to a brighter 2022 – with creativity bringing communities together once more.

The 10 successful teams are:

59 Productions Collective

An unprecedented experiment uniting cosmology, biology, projection technology, STEM education, poetry and 13.8 billion years of history asking questions about the single biggest story of our collective experience.

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