Burberry Inspire


The Burberry Foundation has launched a new schools programme to measure the impact of an immersive arts and cultural education within the curriculum. Northern Ballet are one of four creative powerhouses working with schools across Yorkshire from 2018 - 2022 to inspire young people to develop their own creativity, alongside Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Young Film and The Hepworth Wakefield.

Created in close partnership with the Ideas Foundation, the impact of the four-year long programme will be studied by researchers from the Policy Institute at King’s College London, who will examine how cultural and creative education can help young people to overcome challenging circumstances, widen their horizons and realise their aspirations.

Each of the four organisations will have a dedicated Artist in Residence who will give Key Stage 3 students wide-ranging, hands-on experience of different areas of the creative arts. The Artist in Residence will also collaborate with teachers and students to co-create events designed to have a broad reach across their local communities. Each organisation will work with two schools per year, with all eight schools working with all four organisations by the end of the programme.

Leanne Wood, a Trustee of the Burberry Foundation and Chief People, Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer at Burberry commented:

“We are very proud that the Burberry Foundation will deliver this unique programme in the heart of Yorkshire in partnership with these leading organisations. At Burberry, we believe that creativity should be nurtured, and we are passionate about championing the benefits of making arts and culture available to all. We want to inspire young people across the country to explore the wide variety of ways they can be involved in the creative industries and help to create a wealth of talent for one of Britain’s most important sectors.”

Leanne Kirkham, Director of Learning at Northern Ballet commented:

“As a Leeds-based company with an international reputation, we are thrilled that this ground-breaking project is happening in the North of England, shining a light on Yorkshire’s exceptional cultural offer. Through this project, Northern Ballet will reach thousands more young people and open their eyes to the opportunities available in arts and culture, offering progression and pathways into the sector. Northern Ballet wants everyone to experience great art. The aims of this project could not align better with this, and we can’t wait to get started.”

 The partners
  • Leeds Playhouse will help students explore their sense of what it means to represent the future of Yorkshire today, inspired by the play Partition, a story about the impact of heritage. They will also have the opportunity to work with voice coaches, public speakers and performers.
  • Leeds Young Film will run filmmaking related workshops to develop transferable skills including virtual reality, documentary, music video, social media, vlogging and art film, developing the students’ technical abilities, problem solving and creative communication.
  • Northern Ballet will introduce the students to creative dance, developing their confidence and team working skills and helping them to discover different ways to express themselves through a universal language of movement for diverse communities.
  • The Hepworth Wakefield will support students to explore the relationship between place, emotion and identity, focusing on the changing industrial cityscape and what excites and inspires them about their city. The programme will provide an opportunity for the students to express themselves through a range of creative mediums - from print making to sculpting - taking inspiration from the legacy and achievements of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, who were both born in Wakefield District, to help build a sense of civic pride and place in the community.