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> > > Successful applicants for The Space announced
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Arts Council England and the BBC today announced the 53 successful applicants that will be creating hundreds of hours of original commissions for The Space.

The new experimental service, managed by the Arts Council and developed in partnership with the BBC, will launch in May and run until October this year at It will give arts and culture organisations the opportunity to experiment and engage with new and existing audiences in a completely new and innovative digital environment.

The project is designed to build the digital skills and capability of the arts and cultural sector - currently only about four per cent of the hundreds of organisations funded by the Arts Council are creating and producing high quality digital content for a variety of platforms.

The Space will be available across all four key digital media platforms; PCs, smartphones, tablets and internet connected TVs. The service will also be available as a red button, video on demand service via Freeview HD.

The Arts Council is committing up to £3.5m to The Space from its recently created £20 million Digital innovation fund, with 'in principle' grants ranging from £15,000 to £185,000.

The BBC is contributing to the partnership by developing the technological solutions and providing ongoing support through mentoring, production, training and skills development, helping the UK's arts and cultural sector to make the most of the new and emerging digital opportunities.

The launch of The Space has been timed to coincide with and complement the extraordinary arts activity in 2012: the London 2012 Festival, the wider Cultural Olympiad, plus many important celebrations such as the Diamond Jubilee. It is also the year of digital switchover.

Almost 750 organisations applied with 'Expressions of interest' to be part of The Space, these were shortlisted to 111 including Arts Council funded organisations, national museums and other cultural organisations, large and small.

Successful applicants include:

Watershed, Bristol - 'Out of the Box' is an invitation into the journey of 12 artists who are delivering projects as part of Unlimited, a Cultural Olympiad programme designed to encourage disabled and Deaf artists to create work which opens doors, changes minds, and inspires new collaborations. 'Out of the Box' is an opportunity to simultaneously build and broaden audiences whilst deepening relationships with context, process and impact. Through short films, a documentary and a rich media interactive blog, this project will build momentum and leave legacy.

Carousel - and its Oska Bright International Film Festival are creating an interactive art project and sharing the work of learning disabled filmmakers for others to select digital arts, films and music to watch or listen to in a format of their own choice.

Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Alan Davey, said:

“The Space is one of our most significant interventions of recent years and I’m delighted to be able to announce such exciting and imaginative contributions from artists and organisations.

“The Space will stimulate a dramatic step change in skills development, creative learning and collaboration. It will inspire a great generosity of spirit among the participating organizations, with each of them committed to documenting and sharing the journey they all are taking together.”

Almost 750 organisations applied with ‘Expressions of Interest’ to be part of The Space, which were eventually shortlisted to 111. These included not only Arts Council funded organisations, but also national museums and other cultural organisations, large and small.

To see the full list of successful applicants go to the Arts Council's website