National Theatre Wales has announced they are the latest partner in a creative programme aimed at young entrepreneurs.
The Agency - a programme that helps kickstart young entrepreneurial talent - received £873,000 of National Lottery Funding to help with its rollout efforts across the UK over the next three years.
National Theatre Wales, along with FabLab Belfast, will join with Battersea Arts centre, People's Palace Projects in London and Contact Manchester to deliver the Agency scheme. In doing so, they have doubled the footprint of the project across the UK, and will reach more young people than ever before.
The agency specifically targets 15 to 25-year-olds who come from deprived communities, and gives them a unique training opportunity in that in harnesses experience from both the creative and business sectors. This allows young people to embrace creative solutions and approaches to business problems, and gain networking experiences from both.
This is delivered through a 28-week training programme, where young people are tasked with creating a project that promotes social change with and for the community they live in. The 'Agents' have full autonomy as to the direction of their enterprise, as long as it provides sustainable change for themselves and the community. After the 28-week program, each enterprise is offered long-term bespoke support from the arts organisations.
Joe Ferns, UK knowledge and portfolio director at the Big Lottery Fund, said: "We were really impressed by the Agency's approach to putting power in the hands of young people to take on issues which matter to them and their communities.
"It's great that National Lottery funding can bring the programme to Wales and Northern Ireland. Expanding the Agency will give even more young people opportunities to use their experience and talent as a force for good in the places they live."
Kully Thiarai, artistic director at National Theatre Wales: "Our TEAM programme, which engages with more than 1,000 people from all walks of life in Wales and beyond, has always been the beating heart of our company.
"The fundamental principles and aims of The Agency are a wonderful echo of TEAM's work. It will generate real, meaningful opportunities for young people - and best of all put them in the driving seat, where they belong."