Arts, heritage and cultural organisations given £14.4m boost in Covid Recovery Fund

Hundreds of arts, heritage and cultural organisations across the south will receive a share of £107 million from the additional £300 million announced by the Chancellor for the Culture Recovery Fund.

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

£14 million in continuity support grants will be awarded to 120 previous Culture Recovery Fund recipients in the South East, administered by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It's hoped the boost will help organisations survive and allow them to resume programmes and events and encourage people to get back to enjoying everything they have to offer. 

In addition to this, six organisations in the South East have been awarded grants from the Emergency Resource Support strand of funding so far.

Looking to help those facing imminent risks, grants from this rolling programme are protecting jobs by saving important arts and cultural organisations. 

Providing access to emergency funding throughout the winter period, the Emergency Resource Support programme will be reopened.

From the latest round of funding administered by Arts Council England, theatres across the South East will receive over £4,259,034 in vital financial support so they can keep their doors open and welcome audiences to pantos and plays this Christmas.

The Marlowe in Canterbury has been awarded £1,000,000. It’s the biggest theatre in the South East outside London, with a 1,170-seat main house, 150-seat studio.

Each year the theatre attracts audiences of 400,000, presents over 600 performances and works with 20,000 local young people.

The team is dedicated to championing new creative voices in the region through programmes like Our Roar, which supports theatre makers at all stages of their career.  

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.

Amanda O’Reilly, CEO of Worthing Theatres and Museum said:

“We are delighted to have received a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund Round 3. The funding will allow us to continue our work to enable everyone to access arts and heritage by creating shared experiences that entertain, educate and inspire; ensuring our vision to enrich people’s lives through arts and heritage.

“Specifically the funding will support our work to communicate and engage with our community as we emerge from the pandemic and welcome audiences back into our venues. It will allow us to champion inclusivity, cultivate creativity and offer access to exceptional arts and heritage in the heart of Worthing; developing and showcasing a unique innovative programme that will surprise and delight our audiences.

£28,161 has been awarded to Little Green Pig (LGP) – a registered charity based in Brighton that supports children and young people aged between 6 – 18 years through creative writing initiatives that build confidence, literacy and encourage self-expression.

They work with children and young people based in areas of deprivation or who face challenging circumstances.

Each year the team supports more than 60 children and young people across Brighton, Worthing and Eastbourne, and a further 700+ through its partners.  

Funding is also keeping projectors rolling in local cinemas this winter with eight cinemas across the South East awarded £859,511 via the British Film Institute The Commodore Ryde has been awarded £53,035.

Open since the 1930s and the only independent cinema on the Isle of Wight, the Commodore offers affordable cultural entertainment for families and people on the island.

The Commodore Theatre in Ryde

Adam Watson, Manager of Commodore Cinema Ryde, Isle of Wight said:

"We're delighted to have received this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund. It means that we're able to continue doing what we love, providing great value cinema for all on the Island. The Commodore is an independent, family run business so this money really will make all the difference.

"The Culture Recovery Fund has meant that The Commodore has been able to remain open. Without the fund The Commodore would almost certainly have closed during the last year and an important cultural asset for the Island would have been lost. We're delighted to report that, since reopening in May our audience numbers have steadily grown week-on-week.

"It's been heartening to see people's readiness to return to the Cinema experience. Above all we want you to stay safe, enjoy your great value for money cinema and we hope to see you very soon." 

Today’s announcement follows the second round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund - part of the Culture Recovery Fund - delivered by Historic England.

A grant of £108,000 is helping Murston Old Church in Kent to build a new community arts and heritage centre in the north-east corner of the graveyard as well as supporting a two-year heritage activities programme.

The medieval church and its graveyard also provide a ‘pocket park’ for the surrounding community.

Joe Heap, Festival Director, Towersey Festival said:

“We were delighted, of course, to get support from the Cultural Recovery Fund

 round 3. Because of a 2nd year of cancellation for our festival in 2021, we were in real danger of collapsing. This funding will secure the future of the event and allow us to continue to support over 250 artists and provide work to over 20 industry suppliers and 200 freelancers. Our audiences have continued to support our event through our online and digital activity and the security that this grant affords us, means that we have been able to begin to create a real buzz for 2022.”

Caroline Jones, CEO, The Story Museum in Oxford said:

“It is a huge relief to all of us at the Story Museum that the Cultural Recovery Fund has again chosen to support our work to enrich lives through stories. This grant will underpin our creative learning programme over the winter period, enabling us to commission artists to work in co-creation with young people developing their skills and wellbeing; and continue targeted activity with families, schools and communities where stories can have a life-changing impact. The funding will also allow us to rebuild our organisational resilience and reserves, both of which have been sorely depleted over the last 20 months.”