Arts Council England
Printable version

More vital support given to over 300 cultural organisations to survive beyond pandemic and protect jobs

£35 million from final round of Culture Recovery Fund has gone to 340 organisations across England

  • Grants are supporting organisations as they emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic
  • £1.57 billion funding package has protected jobs across music venues, theatres, galleries, museums and cinemas

Hundreds of cultural organisations have received a share of the final £35 million emergency support package from the Culture Recovery Fund, to help overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since August 2020, the Culture Recovery Fund has distributed £1.57 billion to around 5,000 organisations and sites across the country, giving a lifeline to theatres, museums, independent cinemas and many more cherished organisations around the country through the pandemic.

The final round of funding has supported organisations through the latest challenges, in particular those affected by the Omicron variant this winter. It has kept organisations up and running so that they can continue to support jobs and contribute to local economies.

The record-breaking fund has helped the country’s precious arts, heritage and culture through the pandemic, backing world-renowned names such as Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom, Glastonbury Festival and the National Theatre.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said:

Being cut off from them during lockdown has underlined what a vital role cultural organisations play in their community up and down the country. The Government stood by them in the pandemic, and is determined that they should remain open and accessible to everyone - now and for generations to come.

I am very proud of the Culture Recovery Fund and the lifeline it has provided for cherished organisations in every part of the country.

Support for festivals and live events

The government has been working flat out to support our world-class performing arts and live events sector through challenging times. Now, thanks to this funding, festival-goers and gig-lovers will be able to get back to the brilliant live, in-person events that have been on hold over the past two years. Harrogate International Festivals, for example, have received a grant of £80,000 to continue delivering engaging cultural festivals, such as the Harrogate Music Festival.

A £185,000 grant for Corsica Studios in central London has helped the night club welcome grassroots DJs and household names alike and £60,000 has supported the Wedgewood Rooms, an independent music venue in Southsea, Portsmouth offering an important grassroots music space, and comedy and spoken word events since opening in 1992.

Support for arts

To make sure that everyone continues to have access to arts and culture, this funding will support creative, community-driven arts organisations and creative projects to help nurture and sustain local talent. £70,000 has been awarded to the oldest working men’s club in Britain, Holbeck Working Men’s Club based in Leeds, making sure this community-owned venue can continue with its rich cultural programme.

West End Stage in central London has also received a grant of over £80,000 to continue inspiring and supporting young people to begin their careers on stage. More than £95,000 in funding has gone to Birmingham-based Deaf Explorer to help their important work with Deaf artists to access opportunities across the arts. Almost £50,000 is going to support Golden Tree Productions in Cornwall so that it can continue to develop iconic cultural projects that celebrate Cornwall’s distinctiveness and diversity.

The Bluecoat, Liverpool’s iconic contemporary arts centre, has also been granted over £170,000 to continue their important work engaging the community with art and culture. Home to over 27 artists, arts organisations, craftspeople and retailers in one of Liverpool’s most historic buildings, the funding has protected jobs and kept the centre running.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England said:

This additional round of the Emergency Resource Support Fund has provided a vital lifeline to creative and cultural organisations who have faced further challenges whilst recovering from the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We once again thank the government for its unprecedented support for our creative and cultural industries. The £35 million awarded in Cultural Recovery Funding is helping to support the sector as it continues to welcome back visitors, reinvigorate communities, champion local talent, and ensure every one of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences wherever they are in the country.

Support for heritage

These final awards are also safeguarding precious heritage and regional museums so they can be enjoyed by local communities and visitors long into the future. £1.35 million has protected jobs at The Piece Hall in Halifax, the only remaining Grade I-listed Georgian cloth hall in the world, and funded conservation repairs so the heritage destination can continue welcoming visitors.

£130,000 has also been awarded to Aerospace Bristol, a family-friendly museum and learning centre whose exhibitions tell the remarkable story of Filton Airfield, and almost £200,000 has gone to The Sussex Archaeological Society to support their work researching and preserving local history and archaeology.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England, said:

This final round of government funding has supported a range of important heritage organisations across the country, including The Piece Hall in Yorkshire. These places offer people with unparalleled ways of understanding the past, the history of their area, and the great outdoors and are of great importance for our post-pandemic recovery. Helping them to continue to recover and thrive into the future will provide long-lasting benefits to communities across the country.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

This third and final round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage has provided a vital lifeline to heritage organisations, sites and attractions who have found it challenging to recover from the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic. The £3.1 million awarded by DCMS has helped support the heritage sector as it continues to move forward with plans to open doors to visitors, reinvigorating local areas and contributing to local and national tourism and economy.

Support for cinemas

Emergency funding has also kept projectors rolling in independent cinemas across the country. Thanks to a £45,000 emergency grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, Plymouth Arts Cinema, Plymouth’s only independent cinema, has been able to continue its rich programme of international and UK independent films and offer cheaper tickets to those out of employment, students, those attending Relaxed screenings, and asylum seekers and refugees.

Almost £130,000 has also supported The Regal at Stowmarket to complete its long-planned refurbishment and offer an expanded programme to local communities, including “pocket-money screenings” with £3 tickets for children and work with local disability groups.

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive, BFI said:

Every penny of the Culture Recovery Fund including over £500k in this final round of funding to independent cinemas across the country has been vital to their survival, enabling them to recover and welcome back their audiences. As well as bringing people together to experience the magic of experiencing film on the big screen, local cinemas are hubs for educational and film activities and provide thousands of jobs contributing to regeneration and local economies.

Additional quotes

TV presenter Angellica Bell, Board Member, Kingston Theatre Trust said:

As a Board member of Kingston Theatre Trust, I know how hard our team has worked to sustain the theatre during the pandemic. The Rose enjoys a reputation as both a well-respected producing house and a vibrant community arts hub for Kingston and South West London. We are committed to welcoming new, diverse audience members to the theatre, and this grant helps us to create work that will entice both first time and returning theatregoers to visit the Rose.

Dame Evelyn Glennie, solo percussionist said:

I am delighted that Deaf Explorer has this Culture Recovery Grant. This is a unique company with immense expertise amongst the artists that they collaborate with and support. They access producers that facilitate deaf artists to pioneer inclusive new work. The grant will help key staff return to work, fund-raise and rebuild confidence in their network of deaf artists, who have been devastated by the impact of Covid-19 on the cultural sector. New marketing and promotion will profile the company and help them find new cultural partners, wanting to improve access. I hope for them to quickly return the CIC to a successful not for profit, inspiring the deaf community to be creative and involved in the arts.

Nicky Chance-Thompson DL, Chief Executive, The Piece Hall Trust, said:

We are incredibly grateful the Government recognises the pivotal role The Piece Hall will continue to play in supporting the region’s recovery post pandemic. This generous grant will ensure that this internationally significant heritage site loved by so many, can continue to be sustained and remain free to enter, enabling many different visitors and communities to enjoy and benefit from this precious historic and cultural asset at a time when it’s perhaps needed more than ever. It has become increasingly clear that heritage and culture both play a vital role in supporting our emotional and economic well-being, and we look forward to bringing some much-needed fun and joy back to visitors with a great line up of events in 2022.

Mary Cloake, CEO, The Bluecoat, Liverpool said:

We’re absolutely thrilled that we have been thrown this financial lifeline from the Culture Recovery Fund. We’re grateful to DCMS and the Arts Council for their unwavering support for arts and culture throughout the pandemic. We have spent years building a mixed economy that isn’t solely reliant on public funding, and that was turned on its head during Covid. We will use this money to continue to provide a centre for art and artists in the heart of Liverpool city centre, rebuilding our business and securing its future.

Anna Byrne, Executive Director, Auxiliary Project Space, Stockton on Tees said:

This funding comes at a pivotal time as we emerge from the effects of Covid-19. It allows us to make the full transition of opening up to the public, and supports our team and building with essential resources. We can now face 2022 with a renewed sense of confidence as we build towards the future.

Joanna Resnick, Executive Producer, The Holbeck, Leeds said:

The Holbeck Club serves the community in so many ways- an everyday cultural palace- a place to learn, laugh and relax. This vital funding means that we can continue to do this in these trying times. We’re incredibly grateful for it.

Clare Sacco, Events Co-ordinator, The Creative Seed, South Shields said:

We are absolutely delighted to have received the Emergency Resource Support Fund. The Arts Council and DCMS’s support through the ERF fund has been essential to allowing us to continue our work in the community, with people from a variety of backgrounds and demographics, with a focus on those who traditionally do not find arts and culture accessible. We strongly believe that the arts should be fully inclusive, and this funding will be pivotal in allowing us to facilitate this inclusion.

Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive, Harrogate International Festivals said:

This funding will make a significant difference to our ongoing delivery and emergence from the pandemic. Festivals are cyclical by nature and despite delivering a mix of digital and smaller scale live events during 2021 we need to be fit for purpose for the future learning from our resilience, radically changed programmes and creative ambition over the last two years. This funding will allow us to make informed decisions on our future artistic and community outputs.

Peter Blackburn CBE, Honorary President, Harrogate International Festivals said:

Financial support for the Harrogate International Festivals will be a much needed boost to the organisation after an incredibly challenging two years. HIF has been an integral part of the community during the pandemic supporting residents, employing artists and radically changing the creative offer to animate the town. However, as an organisation with a heavy reliance on ticket sales and sponsorship these much needed funds will bridge the gap across the winter months enabling us to rebuild and reimagine our organisation as we look towards the summer season in 2022 and beyond.

Ellie Claughton, Co-Director, Barrel Organ Theatre, Sheffield said:

We believe that everybody should be afforded the opportunity to nourish their creativity and have a voice, whether they consider themselves to be an artist or not. Funding from the Emergency Resource Fund has been intrinsic in supporting this work and in ensuring Barrel Organ are in a robust position to serve the communities we work with.

Loren Slater, Co-Director, Signal Film and Media, Barrow and Cumbria said:

This funding has been a lifeline for us during the pandemic, allowing us to adapt and increase our services to support some of the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community here in Barrow and Cumbria. The money meant we were able to keep delivering high quality activities and adapting to the rapidly changing circumstances of COVID instead of being under constant worry over our survival. We’re incredibly grateful to the Arts Council for their dedication to helping organisations like ours and their responsiveness in providing the help we needed in such tough times.

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive, Northern Film + Media said:

We [Northern Film + Media] are grateful to have received an award through the Cultural Recovery Fund at a really challenging time. The funding has enabled us to survive, and continue with the delivery of our programme of activities to those who are looking to enter the screen industry here in the North East. Our activity is due to expand rapidly this year and this marks the start of what will be an exciting time for the region and significant growth in the industry. The award has helped get to the point where we can thrive and be ready to support our talented screen professionals.

Richard Blaine, Artistic Director, Southwold and Aldeburgh Theatre Ltd said:

The amazing support from both CRF and ERS has been instrumental in both securing the survival of the company and creating a pathway to renewed self-sustainability and expansion. By supporting our 2021 summer season, CRF enabled the company to re-open on Freedom Day, 19th July, the first in our region. That season’s success won us an invitation to expand to a second venue in 2022. The vital bridge to this expanded season, with potentially twice the income, and twice the local jobs of 2021, is our ERS grant. Having been kept afloat, we have now had a huge push back into the stream - it’s a great example of how judiciously targeted Arts Funding is a future-facing investment, not just a lifeline.

Valerie Mills, Director, Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre said:

We are delighted to have received further funding from the Culture Recovery Fund and this Emergency Response Support grant has enabled us to navigate the winter months with more confidence, despite ongoing difficult operating conditions. Thanks to the funding we have been able to continue working towards sustainability by supporting our 350 volunteers, working with our collections and developing our learning programme.

Steve Goodman (aka Kode9), Hyperdub Records, London, said:

Having held live music, club nights and art events at Corsica Studios for over 10 years (most recently our Ø series which ran from 2017-2020), I am delighted to hear that the venue has been successful in its latest funding round. Corsica is one of the few remaining places in London that champions and supports left field and emerging culture with care and attention to sound and the overall experience of its audiences. It’s an incredibly important musical hub and home for artists, labels and collectives in South London.

James Steventon, Director, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Northampton said:

After an incredibly challenging two years we are grateful to Arts Council England and DCMS for their support which has allowed us to take stock and reconfigure our organisation to do what we do best in creatively responding to a changing world.

Corey Baker, Choreographer, Corey Baker Dance, Birmingham said:

By the second half of last year, Swan Lake Bath Ballet had been a huge international hit and we had loads of opportunities for new projects. But for over a year our regular income sources had been completely cut off, and we had a serious cashflow crisis. Emergency Resource Support gave us the working capital we needed to get back to making work. With this support, we danced on top of wind turbines to celebrate renewable energy; we choreographed cars, bikes and skydivers for the BBC and One Dance UK’s Dance Passion; and we even got to dance at No 10 Downing Street. We made three new dance films that have been seen by millions. ERS got our company moving again.

Billy Read, Chair of Deaf Explorer CIC, Birmingham, said:

We are excited to receive this Cultural Recovery Grant. Before Covid-19 we massively changed the lives of deaf artists. During Covid-19 our pipeline of artists collapsed. This grant will celebrate and raise our profile with a two day festival that will bring Deaf artists together, commission new work and reach our deaf audiences. We will also fundraise to delivery outstanding community participation projects that will involve a new generations of deaf artists.

Will Coleman, Artistic Director of Golden Tree, Cornwall, said:

Yma an Arghasans Yagheans Gonisogeth ow kweres gwitha an termyn a dheu rag Gwriansow Gwedhen Owr ha’gan gasa dhe besya dhe dysplegya digolmow gonisogethek, adhyskansel ha kerghynedhel neb a wul dyffransow leun a styr ha hirduryadow dhe gemenedhow.

Translation: The Culture Recovery Fund will help safeguard the future of Golden Tree Productions, and allow us to continue to design cultural, educational, and environmental solutions that make meaningful and lasting differences to communities.

Ian Stockley, Chief Executive Officer, Bath Festivals said:

The ERS Fund allowed us to maintain the required level of resource in the last quarter of 2021 to plan for a successful return to our higher levels of activity in 2022, as we emerge from the pandemic. We announced our May 2022 Festival programme of over 130 events at the beginning of March. This would not have been feasible without the grant from the ERS Fund.

Geoff Priestly, General Manager from Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth said:

The Culture Recovery Fund: Emergency Resources Support Fund has enabled the venue to weather the storm caused by the later Covid variants, and allowed us to keep shows in place, pay artists, promoters and technicians, and allowed The Wedgewood Rooms to present a wide and varied programme, further we have been able to re engage with our local creative community and audience.

Captain Les Brodie, Former British Airways Concorde pilot said:

As a former Concorde pilot, I believe it is absolutely vital that we preserve our precious aviation heritage for future generations and inspire young people to become the scientists and engineers of the future. I’m thrilled that, thanks to the kind support of The Arts Council, Aerospace Bristol has been able to make it through the pandemic and Concorde will continue to spark inspiration in young minds for many years to come.

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director, Aerospace Bristol said:

Thanks to vital support from the Culture Recovery Fund, Aerospace Bristol, has been able to survive the unprecedented challenge of the covid-19 pandemic, keeping our museum open and continuing our award-winning learning programme and conservation work. We’re enormously grateful for this crucial grant and it’s fantastic to now see the results of this support, as visitors return to Aerospace Bristol to discover our incredible aviation heritage, step aboard Concorde, and enjoy days out together again.

Greg Staw, Co-founder, ON:SONG, Stroud said:

After what has been such a turbulent time for ON:SONG, like for so many cultural organisations, we are thrilled to have once again been supported by this round of funding. This means the world to us, both in terms of the financial stability it brings, and the belief shown in our mission to change lives through the power of music and song.

David Marsh, Events and Theatre Manager, Stowmarket Town Council, local to The Regal said:

The ongoing support from the Culture Recovery Fund has allowed us to continue to grow the cultural offering in mid-Suffolk. The additional measures and full programme it has afforded us to put in place has helped give our community the confidence to return to the cinema and in turn support many of our neighbouring hospitality businesses. We thank the BFI and DCMS for their incredibly valued support during this period.

Simon Ward and Corinna Downing, Owners, The Palace Cinema, Broadstairs said:

We’re delighted to have received a further award from the BFI’s Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas through the DCMS. The BFI’s informed and consistent support for our cinema throughout the two years of the pandemic has ensured our survival. Thanks to this award we can look forward to a thriving future presenting an increasingly diverse range of international cinema, special events and education programmes to our communities in Broadstairs, Thanet and wider-Kent. Thank you!

Anna Navas, Director and Film Programmer, Plymouth Arts Cinema said:

We are very grateful to receive this support for Plymouth Arts Cinema. It will enable us to continue rebuilding our audience as we recover from the pandemic, and to develop new audiences by deepening our community engagement. We are committed to bringing world class independent cinema and film culture to Plymouth.

Gareth Negus, Managing Director, Electric Picture House Cinema, Southwold said:

Since we first received support from the Culture Recovery Fund, we’ve been gratified to see our audiences start to return to the cinema in greater numbers, some for the first time in several years. But we still face the challenge of rebuilding their confidence, and the cinema-going habit, in a period when - like many businesses - we are facing a number of increasing costs. So we’re tremendo

Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Arts Council England

UKAuthority invites you to join our upcoming UKA Lives