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£257 million to save 1385 theatres, arts venues, museums and cultural organisations across England

More than 1,300 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.

  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden reveals details of cultural organisations across England receiving a share of £257 million
  • Funding is the biggest tranche of money awarded so far from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
  • Venues benefitting from funding include the Cavern Club in Liverpool, Royal Academy of Dance in London, Bristol Old Vic, Beamish in County Durham and Stowmarket’s John Peel Centre for Creative Arts

More than 1,300 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.

Yesterday’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.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday 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, yesterday 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.

Yesterday, the Culture Secretary and Dame Darcey Bussell visited the Royal Academy of Dance which will receive £606,366 to enable students and teachers to get back to rehearsals and restart opportunities for local people of all ages and abilities to get involved with dance. Programmes like Silver Swans dance classes improve wellbeing for the over 55s and RADiate engages young people with special educational needs and disabilities with dance.

Dame Darcey Bussell, DBE, yesterday said:

We sincerely welcome the support from DCMS and are very grateful to receive this significant grant from the Culture Recovery Fund. It was my pleasure to welcome the Culture Secretary to the RAD today, in this our Centenary year, and introduce him to our students who will go on to join our network of RAD teachers, who empower young people in the UK and worldwide with our leading ballet training. We cannot overestimate the value of arts and culture in our lives, and its ability to build community, resilience and bring joy.

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 yesterday 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.

London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will receive £846,000 to help them begin a phased return to full-scale performance. The LSO has established an international reputation as one of the top orchestras in the world and through its extensive touring the LSO plays a key role in promoting Britain as a leading exponent of artistic excellence.

Sir Simon Rattle OM, CBE, Music Director, London Symphony Orchestra, yesterday said:

We have refused to let live music be silenced, but it cannot survive on energy and optimism alone. Today’s announcement is incredibly important for orchestras and the whole live music sector, threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic. We need, and are grateful for, this support as we take our first steps in public performance once more, enabling us to show the full power of our creative community.

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