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588 more arts organisations saved by £76 million in latest Culture Recovery Fund grants

588 cultural organisations across England to benefit from a share of more than £76 million.

  • This funding builds on the biggest tranche of money awarded from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced last Monday, taking the total to £333 million this week.
  • Venues and organisations benefiting across England include the Military Wives Choirs, The Hepworth Wakefield, Night and Day in Manchester, Whitby’s famous Gothic Festival, London’s Somerset House and Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall

Comedy clubs, circuses, festivals, regional theatres and local museums are among 588 arts and cultural organisations receiving a share of more than £76 million in essential support, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden recently said:

This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.

This funding will provide a lifeline for organisations and venues engaging local communities with culture across England. It will protect nationally and internationally renowned organisations like the Military Wives Choir, the Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall, the Comedy Store venues in Manchester and London and the Hepworth Wakefield’s collection of modern British art. The West End’s longest running play, The Mousetrap, will also receive a grant of £228,973 to help restart performances to socially distanced audiences.

Melanie Nightingale, Director, Military Wives Choirs, recently said:

We are incredibly grateful to have been awarded part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This much-needed support enables the Military Wives Choirs to continue in our mission of increasing wellbeing through singing, to our inclusive network of over 2,000 women across the military community and audiences across the country and abroad. We are thrilled that this funding enables our 73 choirs to sing, share and support one another and feel stronger together through music.

A wide range of art forms will benefit from these awards including operating circuses and training for future performers. Zippos Circus, one of the oldest circuses still running in the UK, will receive £628,986 to continue with covid-secure performances across the country and the National Centre for Circus Arts will be able to safely provide workshops and classes for artists and young people thanks to a grant of £466,000.

Kate White, CEO, National Centre for Circus Arts recently said:

The National Centre for Circus Arts is thrilled to have been successful in our application to the Cultural Recovery Fund. The grant is a real lifeline and will allow us to offer support to many circus artists, who as freelancers have been without work and income for many months now. As we have reopened our building we are able to subsidise fees for professionals as they ease back into training and creation.

We will further develop our support for teachers as we create new and innovative ways of teaching and creating circus in a COVID safe way. The investment from DCMS and ACE will enable us to adapt our business model, testing new ways of working, to achieve long term financial viability.

Funding is also going to festivals across the country from grassroots arts festival BlackFest based in Liverpool, which is receiving £50,000 to trial socially distanced events, to Shangri-La Glastonbury, the contemporary art producers behind one of the iconic festival’s most legendary stages where some of the world’s biggest artists including Lady Gaga and Madonna have performed, which is being awarded £61,059 to develop a new digital art and music event platform and continue work with emerging artists.

There are also grants for grassroot music venues like Night and Day in Manchester whose support for local unsigned artists has launched major careers for well-known acts like Elbow.

Comedy venues and festivals from Liverpool to London are also benefiting from this tranche of grants. The internationally renowned Leicester Comedy Festival is the longest running and largest comedy festival of its kind in Europe and a grant of £105,000 will allow planning to continue for next year’s festival. Liverpool’s only purpose built comedy club, The Hot Water Comedy Club, is receiving a £450,000 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund to cover fixed costs for the comedy club and the additional measures needed to make the venue Covid-safe for performances. The Comedy Store, the largest employer of professional comedy performers in the UK and one of Europe’s most significant comedy institutions, will receive £964,252 to retain staff in both city locations and deliver an exciting programme that will provide fees for more than 250 freelancers.

Don Ward, founder and CEO, The Comedy Store, recently said:

Over 41 years have passed since I opened the very first alternative comedy venue in London, after 20 years I added a second venue in Manchester. Comedy is now rightly recognised as an art form and I am so proud to be known as the Godfather. I was devastated last March when we had to close both venues due to the Coronavirus and all the relative problems it brought to the understandably enforced closure. The investment will ensure that we will be back to entertain live audiences as soon as it is safe to do so, protecting livelihoods and the artform of comedy itself.

The funding will help allow socially distanced performances to restart where safe to do so, venues to plan for reopening, protect jobs and create opportunities for freelancers. It follows £257 million in grants awarded to a range of arts organisations and cultural venues on Monday October 12 by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Organisations have been awarded grants under £1 million in the first two rounds of funding this week. Darlington Hippodrome in County Durham is receiving the largest grant of £1 million to run a programme of engagement activities including youth theatre courses, adult dance classes and community events ranging from themed tours of the theatre to art classes for local people.

Further details of grant awards of up to £3 million and £270 million in repayable cultural finance will follow in the coming days and weeks.

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