Spirit of 2012 Project

£200,000 awarded to Black Country art and culture project through Spirit of 2012 collaboration with Birmingham 2022 

£200,000 has been awarded to Creative Black Country to create a new, inclusive art and culture project linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.

The participatory performing arts project, entitled Shine A Light, aims to build bridges between D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people using theatre and mime to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth.

The project will include live taster activity sessions and workshops for 280 people, with 165 adults going on to participate in regular performance workshops which will culminate in a touring performance and set of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme. 

Partners including Deaf Explorer, Black Country Touring, Disability Arts in Shropshire (DASH), Zebra Access, Deaffest and Deafscope will support and consult across different areas of the project.

Creative Black Country, based in West Bromwich, works closely with local communities to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of cultural activity in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The organisation is one of three to receive a share of £600,000 from the West Midlands Challenge Fund. The funding will culminate in a series of performances during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, a world-class arts festival running from March to September 2022, alongside the sports programme. The cultural programme will include new work, installations, exhibitions, performances and major events across the West Midlands. 

Spirit of 2012, which is the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy Funder, has collaborated with Birmingham 2022 on the West Midlands Challenge Fund to help build strong communities, improve wellbeing and empower inclusive participation in the arts.

Susie Rodgers MBE, non-executive director, Spirit of 2012 and Paralympic gold medallist, said: 

“Large scale sporting and cultural events have the power to bring people together in hope and celebration; I know this through my own personal and professional experience as a Paralympic athlete, competing in and experiencing both London 2012 and Rio 2016. 

“It is a privilege to be able to fund Creative Black Country’s fantastic project which will create opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to come together to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, their Commonwealth stories and be part of the biggest celebration of sport and culture in this country since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

“I know the true value that sport has, particularly in changing attitudes, unlocking what is possible, and demonstrating how we are all interconnected. That is why I am excited to see these brilliant projects innovate in bringing people from all parts of the community together to create something truly special.”

Parminder Dosanjh, Creative Director of Creative Black Country, said: 

Disabled communities have been disproportionately affected by the impact of lockdown, so it is really exciting to be able to plan a series of workshops with hundreds of people across the Black Country over the next two years, as well as a touring performance and series of films to share during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

“Arts and culture will be absolutely central to our recovery as a country, and funding like this will help us to do some inspirational work with deaf, disabled and non-disabled people across the Black Country just when it is needed most.”

Raidene Carter, Executive Producer of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, said: 

This fund will support three inspirational organisations and, importantly, bring a much needed financial and moral boost to the cultural and charity sectors through uncertain times. 

“Creative Black Country’s project demonstrates the power of the arts in giving voice to some underrepresented communities, bringing together hundreds of disabled and non-disabled people to create a series of exciting performance moments for the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme. 

“Our collaboration with Spirit of 2012 is a wonderful example of Birmingham 2022’s ambition to create a Games for everyone. We’ve loved being part of the journey so far and I can’t wait to see how the creative ideas and incredible ambition for inclusion come together for the wider public to enjoy in 2022.”



Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North, said: 

This is a fantastic cultural project for the Black Country and an example of how Birmingham 2022 will bring together communities in the West Midlands. The Commonwealth Games is an incredible opportunity to champion and showcase the inclusive initiatives taking place in our region to the rest of the world.”


For more information, please contact James Bovill, Lead Communications Manager at Birmingham 2022, on 0751 336 0634 / james.bovill@birmingham2022.com

About Spirit of 2012

Spirit of 2012 previously used the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst for change, funding legacy projects that focused on participation. 

They worked with Big Big Sing to get people across the UK singing before and during the games, culminating in a mass singing event in Glasgow Green during the games.  They also worked with Streetgames to deliver a UK wide pop up sport programme in disadvantaged communities and brought a 1,000 young people to Glasgow to attend the games and experience the city.  Similarly, they worked with Volunteer Scotland to support people from across the UK to volunteer in the opening and closing ceremonies. This included financial support to take part and overcome barriers.  

Finally, at the end of the Games, they launched their flagship programme, Fourteen.  This was a 3-year (£3.5M) community development programme which worked in 14 communities across the UK, with 3 in Glasgow.  Each community was given a pot of £250k to manage and invest in participation in sport, arts & culture and volunteer projects.  Many of the communities set up at steering groups and managed to grow the pot, with some communities still going today. Spirit’s total investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games programme was £5m. As a result, they are still working with the Scottish Government to support people to become, and stay, active.

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.    

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com 



With the support of funders such as the National Lottery's Community Fund, BFI, Foundations, Trusts and so on, Zebra Access CIO provides a range of free services and support to Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing and Deafened people and communities. Zebra Access staff, volunteers have the right to work in a safe and abuse free environment alongside with service users. The organisation will not tolerate any kind of abuse against its staff, volunteers, service users or property.

find out More