London Symphony Orchestra among venues getting up to £1 million help from special fund

The London Symphony Orchestra is among more than 1,300 arts venues and organisations to receive up to £1 million each as a share of £257 million of state funding.

The cash is part of the Government’s £1.6 billion Culture Recovery Fund, and will “protect these special places” which “form the soul of our nation”, said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

The funding will help performances to restart, help venues to plan for reopening, protect jobs and create freelance opportunities, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

Monday’s recipients are venues and organisations who applied for less than £1 million, with future releases of up to £3 million going to larger organisations in the future.

The London Symphony Orchestra welcomed the funding after being awarded £846,000.

Its music director Sir Simon Rattle 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.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, the chairman of Arts Council England, which is distributing the money, 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.”

He said further funding will be announced later this month.

According to Arts Council England, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10 billion a year to the UK economy, with £3 spent on food, drink, accommodation and travel for every £1 spent on theatre tickets.

According to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, those to benefit from the cash injection in London include:

– Finborough Theatre – £59,574. Founded in 1980 above a pub in Earl’s Court, it helped launch the careers of international stars like Rachel Weisz and Jack Thorne, who co-wrote Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.

– Wigmore Hall – £1 million to sustain the future of this international centre for chamber music and song.

– Royal Academy of Dance – £606,366.

– Hackney Empire – £585,064.

– Young Vic – £961,455 to help it partially open between October and March, remotely operating its directors programme and its outreach activities with local communities.

– Theatre Peckham – £150,000 to help deliver Covid-secure classes for its pipeline of young talent and provide support for freelance artists.

More Covid patients in hospital now than at start of lockdown, government experts warn

Coronavirus can survive on surfaces including phone screens for four weeks, scientists claim