Old Vic, Rambert and Black Country Museum in £75m new recovery fund hand-outs

Another 35 leading arts organisations have received grants worth a total of £75m from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, this time in amounts of up to £3m, via Arts Council England.

With 70% of the recipients outside London, they include the Black Country Museum in Dudley (pictured), the Royal Exchange, Manchester, and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It brings the total so far allocated from the fund, announced in July, to more than £500m for almost 2,500 cultural organisations and venues including cinemas, heritage sites, museums, circuses, festivals and comedy clubs across the country. 

All four nations are benefiting from the Culture Recovery Fund with £97m for Scotland, £59m for Wales and £33m for Northern Ireland.

“The Culture Recovery Fund has already helped hundreds of organisations, of all types and sizes, in villages, towns and cities across the country. It has provided a lifeline that will allow these organisations to continue to play an integral role in their communities and produce new artistic work that will entertain and inspire us all” said Arts Council chair Nicholas Serota.

“This latest funding, which are the largest grants to date, will support some of the country’s most loved and admired cultural spaces – from great regional theatres and museums to historic venues in the capital – which are critical to the development of a new generation of talent and in providing work for freelance creatives.”

Recipients announced today include:

Birmingham Hippodrome, £3m. Fiona Allan, artistic director and CEO, said: “Over the last few months, it has been difficult to envisage what the future of Birmingham Hippodrome would be. We can now explore how we can offer more public engagement including socially distanced performances, educational activity and implement crucial infrastructure to support COVID safety measures.”

Royal Exchange, Manchester, £2.854m to support its plans for reopening. 

Design Museum, London,  £2.97m to support it during challenging trading conditions and enable it to host a number of diverse exhibitions.

Sheffield Theatre Trust, £2.25m to help the theatre partially reopen creating a pop up season and digital content. 

Newcastle Theatre Royal, £3m to help it continue to deliver its actor training programme and to adapt to the challenges covid-19 has created. 

Lights Control Rigging Productions Ltd, Darwen, £1.1m support the business’s survival to March 2021, covering overheads, building costs and maintaining their equipment.

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley, £2.56m so it can remain open at 50% reduced capacity and ensure it is Covid-safe. 

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, £1.2m so it can keep skilled staff locally and ensure the theatre can remain active and prepare for reopening. 

Rambert, Lambeth, £1.3m to retain the dance company’s elite talent and to develop its Rambert Home Studio digital platform, enabling it to continue to engage with audiences and artists.

Birmingham Rep, £1.4m to deliver Covid-secure events and create jobs for artists and freelancers as well as transitioning to a more sustainable business model. “Without this essential grant there is no doubt that the future of our historic theatre would have been greatly compromised” said artistic director Sean Foley. “We can now channel our efforts into securing the future of The REP, protecting jobs, and employing freelancers.” 

Norwich Theatre, Norwich, £3m to host a temporary programme of artistic, participatory and commercial activities, whilst also sustaining the core business.

Old Vic Theatre Trust, Lambeth, £3m to prevent The Old Vic from being mothballed, allowing it to continue to make work – including hiring freelancers – record three new commissions, developing successful online and safe in-person activities to reach new participants, as well as develop its business model so it can respond to the evolving landscape.

Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark, £3m to support start-up costs for a planned reopening in Spring 2021.

English National Ballet, Tower Hamlets, £3m to enable the English National Ballet to retain its elite talent and explore live socially distanced and digital opportunities to engage with its audiences.

Sadler’s Wells, Islington, £3m to enable Sadler’s Wells to partially reopen, with plans to present up to seven shows, as well as continuing its digital programme to bring dance to audiences who cannot come to its venues. “With this support we will continue to make and share world-class dance for audiences from across the UK and around the world. We will create opportunities for artists, companies, freelance professionals, and colleagues whose talent and skill are the backbone of this organisation” said CEO Alistair Spalding.

Theatre Royal Plymouth, £1.9m to support the reopening with professionally produced and presented shows and a season of new developmental work by emerging artists and companies mainly from the South West region. This will provide income to freelance performers, artists and companies. It will also enable them to resume their wide-ranging Community Engagement programme.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, £3m. Shakespeare’s works and heritage are central pillars of our cultural fabric. Shakespeare’s own story and his timeless works are amongst the most powerful and profound avenues for exploring ourselves and our experiences in the world - all the more important in such times of crisis and uncertainty. It is essential that we protect and promote his enthralling story in Stratford-upon-Avon on behalf of our nation and the whole global community” said CEO Tim Cooke.


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