More than 1,300 arts and cultural organisations have benefited from a share of £257 million as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
Venues and companies receiving support included London’s Young Vic Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Hackney Empire, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Finborough and Park Theatres, as well as Bristol Old Vic, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Curve, Leicester and Theatre Royal Bath.
Organisations that applied for grants under £1 million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund were informed 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.
The funding will help 1,385 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues.
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.”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director, and Glenn Earle, chair, Young Vic:
“It is no understatement that this grant is a lifeline for the Young Vic, enabling us to remain resilient and deliver new ways of making enriching work for and with our community, while we wait for the time when we can open fully to our audiences once again… These funds represent a vital step in our recovery and in the renewal of our world-class sector.”
Jo Hemmant, executive director, Hackney Empire:
“We feel it is our responsibility as a sector, now more than ever, to ensure we are always learning, always improving and always working harder to represent and reach out to the unheard and the unengaged. With this funding we must guarantee that the transformative power of the arts can be experienced by the many; to share, to entertain, to inform and to educate.”
Jez Bond, artistic director, Park Theatre:
“This money will enable us to prepare our building so it’s ‘Covid-secure’, and subsidise us to present smaller scale work over the next few months before we can reopen fully. It also allows us to offer the space for the development of diverse, new work – enabling us in turn to support freelance practitioners who – in the majority of cases – have tragically slipped through the net in terms any support packages.”
Tom Morris, artistic director, Bristol Old Vic:
“This is fantastic news for many arts organisations all over the country. For Bristol Old Vic it is transformative. Immediately, it keeps us open and prevents another devastating round of redundancies. Beyond that, it gives us a solid platform from which we can contribute to the economic and social recovery which must follow the pandemic over the next two years.”
Daniel Buckroyd, artistic director & CEO, Exeter Northcott Theatre:
“We’re delighted that the Northcott Theatre has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund – it offers both a vital lifeline as we continue to struggle with the impacts of Covid and a chance to develop our business for the future, collaborate with new artists and reach out to new audiences and participants.”
Chris Stafford, chief executive, and Nikolai Foster, artistic director, Curve, Leicester:
“We will shortly announce our reopening plans, and although social distanced performances are not sustainable in the long-term, our theatre plays a vital role in the life of our city and on our local economy; this investment will enable us to bring our building – and Leicester’s Cultural Quarter- back to life as we wait for news on when we can expect to reopen at Stage 5 of the Theatre roadmap.”
Steve Mannix, executive director, Colchester Mercury Theatre:
“These funds will not only enable us to pay the wages of our 77 staff to next April, but to launch our new youth and community programme, commission local artists and creatives and help to at long last throw open the doors to our brand spanking newly refurbished theatre. These funds don’t solve everything, but offer a glimmer of hope. For the first time in many months we all can start to look to the future with a sense of optimism and creativity.”
Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, artistic directors, Darkfield:
“We are thrilled and thankful to have received funding from the Culture Recovery Fund today. It means we can continue to employ our small group of brilliant staff, continue to make work for the home whilst the pandemic curtails our location-based work and means we will be ready to return when restrictions end.”
Brian Hook and Louis Hartshorn, Hartshorn-Hook Enterprises:
“Every penny of this support will help sustain the Immersive Great Gatsby and the Immersive|LDN programme, employing hundreds of freelancers and the wider economies that these productions support. We are confident that this investment in HHE will pay dividends back to those taxpayers both in cultural output and direct economic return.”
David Hutchinson, CEO, Selladoor Worldwide:
“The last seven months have been nothing short of devastating, both for our company and our industry as a whole. We have lost eight productions, as well as many of our team members, as we have tried to sustain a business with zero income. This financial lifeline allows us time to reimagine and restructure the business, so that we can be ready and able to help bring our sector back to life post Covid-19. There is a long way to go, but this grant gives our company a fighting chance of recovery.”