Two laughing teenage girls in a dance studio create an arch with their arms for two other girls to run under, a further two girls watch and laugh.

The Dance Hub Birmingham (DHB) Strategic Investment Programme Round 1 is to invest in three projects, led by Arts Connect, Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage, and Sonia Sabri Company.

The DHB Strategic Investment Programme aims to invest a total of £500,000 in a diverse range of projects that make dance a vibrant and resilient contributor to the economic life of Birmingham and the West Midlands. DHB seeks to grow a true partnership spirit, building on decades of dance achievement in Birmingham and the wider region and positioning this as a globally significant area for dance.

Arts Connect and the Dance Development Leaders Group was one of three Round 1 Projects selected for funding, leading on an audacious, ambitious infrastructure, leadership and innovation Development Project.

The DHB Strategic Investment Programme funding will go towards supporting a two-year, multi-stranded programme that will work with Midland’s based dance organisations to strengthen the region wide network of dance participation leaders; diversifying the people and voices who lead the work of DDLG; supporting growth in the dance sector and new business models; enhancing talent retention and development opportunities; building digital opportunities to innovate and build new audiences for dance, especially young people.

Susan Goodwin, Associate Director, Arts Connect said:Following a series of high-profile youth dance projects culminating this summer with Critical Mass, DDLG is at a pivotal moment as we plan for the future. We are very excited, that through this funding we will diversify the leadership, reach and potential of this unique resource for dance in the Midlands.

Chris Rodriguez, DHB Steering Group Chair commented:We truly are thrilled to announce the selected DHB Investment Programme projects – projects that we feel will continue to build on Birmingham’s long history of celebrating and elevating dance. DHB’s investment in these projects will mark a commitment to building partnerships that are ambitious for dance in the region, and our confidence in the dance community and those projects, to help create a true step change for the sector.

Through the Strategic Investment Programme DHB invites proposals that embrace and intersect across more than one of the four investment priorities; bring together multiple partners in new and unexpected collaborations; are from a diverse range of companies working in dance practices and styles, representative of the wider cultural community; and have national and/or international significance.

DHB is an active partnership of organisations and individuals, representing the region’s professional dance sector. Together, DHB supports the development of the artform in all its diversity, seeking to drive the sector forward and position Birmingham and the wider region as a globally significant area for dance. Read more about DHB on their website.