925 arts, heritage and cultural organisations to benefit from share of £107 million

  • Emergency grants providing a lifeline to organisations supported by the Fund for the first time
  • Emergency support extended over winter period so more applicants can come forward to protect jobs and plan for the future
  • Funding welcomed by celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Clive Owen, Rebecca Hall and Mike Leigh

Hundreds of arts, heritage and cultural organisations across England will receive a share of £107 million from the additional £300 million announced by the Chancellor at March’s budget for the Culture Recovery Fund, bringing the total cash support package made available for culture during the pandemic to close to £2 billion.

The Culture Recovery Fund has already got £1.2 billion out the door to around 5,000 organisations and sites across the country and this latest round of funding is giving a lifeline to regional theatres, local museums, independent cinemas and many more throughout the winter.

From this round of funding, over £100 million will be awarded in continuity support grants to over 870 previous Culture Recovery Fund recipients administered by Arts Council England, British Film Institute, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England. Helping organisations survive and allowing them to resume programmes and events, the funding will mean people can have access to and enjoy everything they have to offer.

£6.5 million will be shared by 57 organisations in need of urgent financial support. Grants from this emergency resource support will protect jobs by saving the future of important arts and cultural organisations.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.

Theatres across the country will receive over £30 million in vital continuity support so they can keep their doors open and welcome audiences to pantos and plays this Christmas. Over £500,000 will support Derby Theatre to continue producing theatre for their local community, engaging young people and working with those impacted most by the pandemic. £71,000 is going to the Little Angel Theatre, a children’s puppet theatre in London, which will support their productions, as well as foster their school and community projects.

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. Over £390,000 will go to Arts at the Mill, Wigan, so they can continue to inspire through their ambitious creative initiatives, whilst a £35,000 grant will support Little Inventors in Newcastle to provide educational workshops to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives

Funding is also keeping projectors rolling in local cinemas this winter with 62 cinemas awarded over £6 million administered by the British Film Institute. Almost £85,000 will help The Alhambra, Keswick to introduce a new air filtration system and set up a new film club for local sixth-formers allowing them to curate their own film programme, learn how to operate the projector, and run the kiosk for two screenings per week. Over £102,000 is supporting the Forum Cinema in Hexham to continue its commitment to making the cinema as accessible as possible for all audiences, for example by increasing the number of open captioned / subtitled films for D/deaf audiences.

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive, BFI said:

Traditionally, this time of year brings a wealth of culture to the big screen for people up and down the country as local cinemas offer seasonal classics, and new British films and blockbusters. The Culture Recovery Fund has been vital to the survival and recovery of independent cinemas, enabling them to contribute to their high streets and communities, and crucially be there to welcome back their audiences.

The latest awards will continue to safeguard our most precious heritage and regional museums. A grant of £566,000 will give Exeter Cathedral the necessary financial support so they can continue to engage the local community through a packed calendar of activities such as historic costume character tours, festive family nights and Christmas carols in the Cathedral nave. £228,000 will also make sure Norfolk Museums Service can continue to inspire children and young people with its creative and engaging collections.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

This latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage has provided much-needed further support for Heritage sites, attractions and organisations as they move forward with their exciting plans to engage, entertain and educate us all. The UK’s heritage has faced unprecedented times, and investing in the Heritage sector remains vitally important to driving tourism, supporting our wellbeing and making our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.

Of the 57 organisations awarded grants from the emergency resource support strand of funding, 44 are being supported with resource grants from the Culture Recovery Fund for the first time, with more applications undergoing assessment over the coming weeks. Recipients include Arty-Fact Theatre in Nantwich who will receive £32,000 to continue bringing innovative theatre to schools in the UK, and The Charles Causley Trust in Cornwall who are getting £95,000 to make sure they can carry on promoting creative writing and the arts in the local area.

Providing access to emergency funding throughout the winter period, the Emergency Resource Support programme will be reopened. This will give more applicants at imminent risk of financial failure an opportunity to bid for support, protecting even more organisations so that they can continue to create jobs and contribute to the economy. The application window will open shortly, and Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute will be publishing the details on their websites soon.

Today’s announcement follows the second round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund – part of the Culture Recovery Fund – delivered by Historic England. Supporting 142 locations with a total of £35 million, historic sites will benefit from an injection of cash for vital repairs and major restoration work.

Those benefiting include Leigh Spinners Mill in Wigan, whose grant of £126,000 will help refurbish the fifth floor, repair the roof and engine house, and create a heritage store and a large multi-use space. This will also provide 20 new jobs and new opportunities for on-site work experience as part of their wider construction skills training.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England said:

The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage schemes and the Heritage Stimulus Fund administered by Historic England continue to provide essential support for heritage and the arts across the country. The latest recipients indicate the breadth of organisations that are being saved as we emerge from the effects of COVID on our sector.

Additional quotes:

Dame Judi Dench, Patron of Omnibus Theatre, said:

Now here is some very good news. Small theatres such as Omnibus are the lifeblood of our industry, and this funding will be vital in continuing their brilliant work.

Clive Owen, Actor and Patron of Little Angel Theatre, said:

I’m incredibly happy to hear that the Little Angel has received funding to support its future work. This theatre is very special and has been important to my family for many years.

Rebecca Hall, Writer and Director of Passing starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, and star of Christine and The Awakening, said:

Growing up in central London I had access to a number of incredible local art-house cinemas, which gave me an education in and love of film. I think that only when we are together in a theatre can we really experience the enveloping power of cinema. Without that experience, I wouldn’t be a filmmaker today. Unless we support independent cinemas, we will fail to nurture the next generation of British cinema.

Mike Leigh, Salford-born and BAFTA-winning Writer and Director of Vera Drake, Mr. Turner, Secrets & Lies said:

Growing up in North Salford in the 40s and 50s, there were 14 local independent cinemas within walking distance of our house – quite apart from the fancy big movie houses in Central Manchester, a short bus-ride away.

Each cinema showed two films in every programme, as well as shorts and newsreels. The programme changed on Wednesdays, and there were yet different offerings on a Sunday. This feast inspired my earliest passion for cinema, and my resolve to make films. Everybody went to the pictures – it was a vital part of community life. It still is, and it must remain so. Which is why the support for independent cinemas by the Culture Recovery Fund is of such vital importance.

Gurinder Chadha, Writer and Director of Bend it Like Beckham, Blinded by the Light and Viceroy’s House, said:

I have been counting the days for when my favourite independent cinemas will open. They are a life blood to my industry as a filmmaker and an utter pleasure to lose oneself into different cinematic worlds globally. Please support your local cinema for the big screen experience.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said:

I’m so pleased to see continued support for the sector from the Culture Recovery Fund. It will allow organisations to survive and thrive beyond the pandemic so that they can continue to collaborate with talented artists and creatives to make exciting work which can, in turn, be shared with the widest possible audience.

Kwame Kwei-Armah, Young Vic Artistic Director and Despina Tsatsas, Young Vic Executive Director, said:

This Cultural Recovery Fund has been a lifeline as we continue to navigate the most challenging period in our fifty-year history. More than a lifeline, it has given us the means to rebuild as a stronger, more accessible and innovative organisation. Thanks to the investment of CRF3, we can boldly plan for a better future for the Young Vic, artists, audiences and our entire community.

Harry Macqueen, Director of Keswick-shot Supernova starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, said:

Cinema is essential. Its value lies in its unique ability to transport us into other people’s lives; to usher us into other cultures and in doing so remind us of the shared experience of being human. Watching a film in a cinema – with strangers around us – is a progressive, collective act. It is a communal experience that informs and inspires. But cinema can only do so if it is accessible to all. It is therefore now more vital than ever that we support independent cinema and cinemas, where important stories and storytellers thrive. Long live your local indie!

Steven Knight, Oscar-nominated writer of Dirty Pretty Things, creator of ‘Peaky Blinders’, writer of Spencer, and Writer/Director of Locke, said:

For more than 100 years cinemas have been at the heart of British communities and the existential threat to them has been alarming. Any initiative which helps to ensure the survival of moving pictures as an essential form of entertainment is to be heartily welcome.

Felicity Jones, Oscar-nominated actress for The Theory of Everything, who has also starred in The Aeronauts and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, said:

Local cinemas are vital in our communities- a place where we can be transported into different lives and cultures in the company of others enriches all of us. The lights going down, the hushed voices, the sense of anticipation and the feeling of diving into the unknown make independent cinema a scintillating experience. Growing up, it was the power of that moving image in those dark, intimate spaces that made me feel that anything was possible. Long may we continue to nurture our independent cinemas.

Phil Clapp, Chief Executive of the UK Cinema Association, said:

While the recent months have seen many positive signs of recovery for the UK cinema sector, we know that there is still some way to go before the future is truly secure, and that some venues particularly impacted by lockdown and other restrictions will need additional help.

For that reason, we are delighted to see a number of our smaller operator members benefiting from this latest round of Culture recovery Fund Support and join them in welcoming this further show of support from the BFI, DCMS and Government.

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