West Country arts sector receives more than £2.5m in emergency grants

Theatre Royal Plymouth will receive more than £800,000

Theatre and arts venues across the West Country will receive more than £2.5million in emergency grants from the Arts Council England (ACE).

The money is part of a wider £33million given to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) to help keep them 'afloat' until the end of September.

The Arts Council says it will use the remaining budget from this emergency programme tocomplement the Government’s recently announced £1.57 billion rescue package.

A total of 19 NPOs will be given grants across the region, totalling £2,593,506.

It is the third fund in the ACE's Emergency Response Package which aims to help organisations and individuals in need of immediate support due to the impact of Covid-19.

ACE says 'This investment would not have been possible without funding from the public - whether playing the National Lottery, or from the taxpayer'.

We know that massive challenges remain in the autumn, and we'll use the rest of our available funds, alongside the Government funding just announced, to support our sector in the coming months.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England
The SS Great Britain Trust in Bristol is to receive £435,998

A report predicts around 43,000 jobs could be lost in the arts industry across the south west as a result of the coronavirus.

The Creative Industries Federation has warned of a 'cultural catastrophe' as new research suggests a loss of £1.3bn across the region.

Along with tourism and hospitality, creative industries are among the most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

On Monday 6 July the government announced a £1.57bn support package for culture, arts and heritage organisations in Britain, including theatres, independent cinemas, museums and the live music sector.

It followed months of campaigning from industry leaders warning that without support, around 70% of theatres were facing closure by Christmas.

A statue outside was covered in 'mock police tape' to raise awareness of the closure of arts spaces.

Plymouth's Theatre Royal has been given £806,000 to try and help keep the charity afloat until the end of September.

The charity announced at the end of June that more than 100 jobs were at risk of redundancy.

Around 90% of its income was lost when it had to close because of Covid-19.

The charity has welcomed the news of the financial help

We'd like to thank all those who've so passionately and visibly supported the sector and TRP on the streets, on social networks, in the media and in writing. It’s been heartening to hear the impact of the work we do and how close people hold arts, culture and TRP to their hearts

Theatre Royal Plymouth @TRPlymouth

However, it says it is still waiting for news about when the theatre can reopen.

A post on social media read, "Crucially, we await a timetable that indicates when venues might be able to safely reopen again.

"Only then will we really be in a position to meaningfully plan a future for TRP."



Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Culture, creativity and the arts are a fundamental part of our country’s identity – they bring joy, fulfillment and shared experience and help boost people’s health and wellbeing.

"Our National Portfolio Organisations play a crucial role in providing opportunities for people across England to enjoy culture, and this funding will ensure that they are able to continue their work through the summer."


A full list of all of the venues in the West Country who are receiving money from the ACE is below:

  • Academy of Circus Arts and Physical Theatre (Circomedia) - Kingswood; £76,730

  • Bernard Leach Trust Limited (Leach Pottery)- Cornwall; £114,431

  • Bristol Music Trust - Bristol; £111,416

  • Cheltenham Festivals - Cheltenham; £204,000

  • Cinderford Artspace - Forest of Dean; £19,322

  • Diverse City - Dorset; £121,310

  • Doorstep Arts - Torbay; £2,620

  • Exeter Phoenix - Exeter; £75,000

  • KARST - Plymouth; £30,277

  • Knowle West Media Centre - Bristol; £91,915

  • Poole Arts Trust Ltd - Poole; £255,038

  • Prema Arts Centre - Stroud; £15,000

  • SS Great Britain Trust - Bristol; £435,998

  • Swindon Dance - Swindon; £13,000

  • Take A Part CIC - Plymouth; £30,000

  • Tangle Ltd - Yeovil; £23,317

  • The Pound Arts Trust Ltd - Chippenham; £18,132

  • Theatre Royal (Plymouth) Ltd - Plymouth; £806,000

  • Tobacco Factory Theatres - Bristol; £150,000