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£257 million to support arts and culture

First Published 12 October 2020, Last Updated 24 October 2020

1,385 arts and cultural organisations are benefitting from a share of £257 million as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.

Organisations that applied for grants under £1 million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund were informed this morning of their awards by Arts Council England which is distributing funding on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

The allocation is the biggest tranche of funding distributed to date from the Culture Recovery Fund, bringing the total amount of grant funding awarded so far to more than £360 million. Further funding for organisations is due to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

Today’s funding will help 1,385 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues survive the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It will boost iconic organisations and venues known around the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre and Liverpool’s Cavern Club. It will also protect hundreds of local organisations that have launched many stars of the British cultural scene and sit at the heart of their communities. This includes the Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court, London, Beamish Living Museum in County Durham, the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, and The Young Vic in London.

This funding will help allow performances to restart, venues to plan for reopening and help protect jobs and create opportunities for freelancers. 

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of of Society Of London Theatre and UK Theatre says:
“The announcement by the government today of a significant investment in nearly 1400 organisations is warmly welcomed, and will help create work and retain jobs. Arts and culture can inspire and support communities at this time, and this commitment is vital to the ongoing future success and prosperity of so many all over the country.”

Society Of London Theatre and UK Theatre also want to acknowledge that this remains a difficult time for everyone, including the extraordinary, diverse talent that makes our industry so special – and the freelance community who are in particular need of support.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“The government is here for culture and we have worked around the clock to get this record investment out to the frontline.

“It will allow our wonderful theatres, museums, music venues and cultural organisations to survive this crisis and start putting on performances again – protecting jobs and creating new work for freelancers. 

“This is just the start – with hundreds of millions pounds more on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences. Further funding will be announced later in the month and we are working hard to support creative organisations and individuals during these challenging times.”

The multi-award-winning, 50-seat Finborough Theatre will receive £59,574 to secure their iconic location and maintain in-house skills to be able to reopen successfully and sustainably in the future. The Finborough, founded in 1980 above a pub in Earl’s Court, has launched the careers of international stars like Rachel Weisz and maintains a track record of discovering practitioners who go on to become leading voices in British theatre including Jack Thorne, who co-wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and James Graham whose plays, including This House, Ink and Labour of Love, enjoyed hugely successful runs in the West End and Broadway. 

 Playwright James Graham said:

“It’s such a relief then to see these significant funds now reaching organisations who want to begin making work for their communities to enjoy.

“It’s also important that these theatres are spread nationwide, are big and small, and include venues like the tiny Finborough pub theatre – which is where I cut my teeth and wouldn’t be a playwright or screenwriter without it.”

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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

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In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.