Gloucester Culture Trust has announced a new partnership between the city of Gloucester and the Roundhouse, the iconic London venue and charity renowned for transforming young lives through creativity.

Through the Gloucester Roundhouse Exchange, The Music Works along with two other arts organisations: Gloucester Guildhall  and Strike A Light, will work together with the team from the Roundhouse in an exchange of ideas, talent and exceptional creative programming to help put Gloucester on the cultural map.

Over the next two years, this Exchange will enable more young people than ever before to take part in music, dance, theatre and circus in Gloucester. It will bring together creatives from both cities in inspiring partnerships, providing engagement and performance opportunities and bringing high quality new work to audiences in Gloucester. It will also develop vital ‘behind-the-scenes’ skills, such as music creation and producing, programming and arts management.

Young people will be at the heart of everything. The Exchange aims to increase young people’s skills, confidence and aspirations as the creative leaders of the future.

The collaboration will also enable strategic development of all the organisations taking part, through a process of shared learning, to ensure Gloucester’s independent creative sector goes from strength to strength. Over time, more arts organisations from Gloucester will also be involved.

The partnership is funded by a grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and via Gloucester’s Great Place project, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Activities will include:

  • Weekly classes, workshops and drop-in sessions, open to all but targeted to young people and communities who don’t currently tend to take part
  • Residencies in Gloucestershire for emerging artists to collaborate and make new work
  • Masterclasses about creative careers
  • Exchange visits between Gloucester and London
  • Summer performance seasons in Gloucester, bringing outstanding new work to audiences and providing platforms for young people to perform and participate

Hollie Smith-Charles, Director, Gloucester Culture Trust said:
“Investing in Gloucester’s budding creative talent is vital if our city is to thrive into the future. It’s not just about developing star performers. Creative skills can be applied in all parts of our society and economy and they will be in demand in the future. Working with the Roundhouse will help accelerate the development of Gloucester’s emerging creative scene, offering exceptional creative opportunities, both in Gloucester and London. At its heart, the Gloucester Roundhouse Exchange is a way for the young people of Gloucester to realise their ambitions for the future of the city, and to see that they have a place in it.”

Marcus Davey OBE, Chief Executive & Artistic Director, Roundhouse said:
“At the Roundhouse, we passionately believe in the potential of the arts to enhance young lives. We have been a cultural venue for 50 years and a charity for over ten, and during this time we have tried and tested many ideas. We are excited to embark on this new, national partnership, not only to share what we’ve learnt, but also to learn from another city. The Gloucester Roundhouse Exchange feels like a potential game-changer for how arts organisations can work together.”

Malaki Patterson, The Music Works

Malaki Patterson, Creative Director, The Music Works said:
“This is just what we’ve been waiting for. Gloucester has always had a strong music scene across many genres, but it’s lacked support. This is changing, and it feels good to be working with all these partners, and many others across the city, who are as committed as we are to putting young people at the centre, transforming lives in actions and not just words, with work that’s really rooted in Gloucester.”