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Unit Twenty Three, the creative social enterprise in Diss, is to close

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DissFest 2018. Picture Danni Davis
DissFest 2018. Picture Danni Davis

Unit Twenty Three – a social enterprise in Diss aimed at developing creative programmes for young people and families – is to close.

The group, based at Diss Youth and Community Centre in Shelfanger Road, is to close after five years of running numerous projects and training sessions, as well as supporting a range of organisations.

A spokesman said it was a hard decision to close the venture, which had found it increasingly difficult to find sufficient grant funding.

Its flagship projects included the Dissfest community arts festival and Freefall, a touring theatre about young carers.

A statement from the group said: “As of December 21, Unit Twenty Three will no longer be operating.

“We have taken this very hard decision in light of the overall environment and the need to raise substantial sums to operate at the level and quality that we would like to.

“We have existed for more than five years and, through this time, have run numerous small projects, training sessions and our flagship projects of Freefall and Dissfest.

Craft group gets ready for Dissfest 2018. Picture Danni Davis
Craft group gets ready for Dissfest 2018. Picture Danni Davis

“Freefall reached more than 3,000 young people, while Dissfest engaged an audience of more than 5,500 people and 476 performers and artists from the four festivals we have run.

“We are proud to have worked with such talented people, to enable our young associates to deliver projects and kick-started some important intergenerational work.

“In addition, we have delivered support to a range of organisations, young staff and creatives."

DissFest 2016. Joe Aiken performs.
DissFest 2016. Joe Aiken performs.

Founding director, Emrys Green, has many years experience working within the arts, participation and enterprise support space.

He has been a judge at local, regional and national level for Young Enterprise, been involved in national Arts Council England projects and founded the supporting commercial organisations.

The statement, continues: "One project we have instrumentally supported is the Arts Award Youth Network and development of an online platform for young people interested in culture, voicemag.uk.

“The charity behind this will be the beneficiaries of any remaining assets so we can offer some further support for its growth.

“We are grateful to every individual and organisation who has created work with us, partnered on projects, attended our activities and funded us.

“We hope that some of our work will carry on in various guises and that the community of Diss is able to benefit from future creative work.

“We would especially like to thank Park Radio, MTM Youth Services and Diss Town Council for their recent support in making more projects happen in Diss with a creative influence.

“On behalf of the whole team and board of Unit Twenty Three, thank you to everyone for your support.”

Unit Twenty Three operated as teams on projects and a number of freelancers in schools, the professional stage, or online.

DissFest 2016.
DissFest 2016.

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