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.”