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Alyco Mohammed, a Blackburn Youth Zone member, has received more than £2,500 to launch ‘Blackburn’s Got Talent’ youth talent competition.
The funding came from the National Lottery, through Arts Council England after a successful bid written by 17-year-old performing arts student Alyco was accepted.
Alyco has already begun recruiting contestants for the competition and arranged auditions, taking place at Blackburn Youth Zone on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October. Whilst Thwaites Empire Theatre, will host both the semi-final and final competition.
A team of 22 enthusiastic young volunteers will work with Alyco to organise auditions, promote the talent competition, and arrange prizes; as well as running the events in each of the locations to deliver an exciting talent show for both contestants and spectators.
Alyco had applied for the grant two times prior before this successful bid. Since receiving the grant, Alyco – with help from volunteers – has launched a website to promote the event (www.blackburnstalent.com), designed and printed leaflets, and begun raising awareness for the upcoming event.
Alyco said: “I have wanted to host a youth talent competition ever since I was in school. I struggled for funding in the past but with help from John McCaughey at YPS, I was finally able to produce an in-depth and successful application to submit to Arts Council England.
“I will be working closely with volunteers, many who study performing arts alongside me, to put on a spectacular event for young people. If you are aged between 11 and 21 and would like to take part in the competition, please attend the auditions or submit an application online.”
Monica Hewitt, Senior Club manager at Blackburn Youth Zone said the grant – totalling £2,611 – would help realise Alyco’s ambition: “We are really proud of Alyco for writing such a successful proposal to Arts Council England,” she said. “He refused to give up on his idea of launching Blackburn’s Got Talent and we’re really happy to hear he now has the funding to make the event possible. We would like to invite all young people aged 11–21 to audition and encourage all local people to support the event.”
Between 2015 and 2018, Arts Council England will invest £1.1 billion of public money from government, and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
For more information about the project, or to contact the Blackburn’s Got Talent team please visit www.blackburnstalent.com