Cultural bodies and venues ‘thrilled and relieved’ at latest Covid-19 grants

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·3-min read

Venues and arts bodies including The Lowry and Marlowe Theatre have said they are “thrilled and relieved” after receiving grants in the latest round of Government funding.

Eight arts bodies and many more historic and heritage sites will received money from the £1.57 billion culture recovery fund, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

Julia Fawcett, chief executive of The Lowry theatre and gallery hub in Salford, welcomed the news in a statement.

The venue will receive £3,000,000 to cover ongoing costs incurred during the pandemic.

Ms Fawcett said: “This fund has provided a vital lifeline to many arts organisations up and down the country and we are incredibly grateful for the support that it will provide to The Lowry.

Cabinet Meeting
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“Since being forced to close our doors back in March we have done our best to continue to serve our audiences, support our staff and provide creative opportunities for artists and communities – all in the face of losing 93% (£12 million) of our income and the very real threat of permanent closure.

“With this much-needed grant, we can begin the task of rebuilding our artistic and engagement programmes and continue to play our part in the cultural ecology in the North of England with confidence.”

The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury will be given £2,999,999 in grant funding to cover core operating costs and help the theatre prepare effectively for reopening in spring 2021.

Deborah Shaw, chief executive of The Marlowe Trust, said: “We are thrilled and relieved to receive this vital support of £3 million from the Cultural Recovery Fund, which takes away the threat of permanent closure in the face of the Covid-19 crisis and supports our organisation through until the end of March 2021.

“The Marlowe receives no revenue funding and operates as a self-funding charity. We are reliant on box office for 99% of our income and our success in normal years allows us to invest in regional artists and production, and to create a rich programme of creative opportunities for our thriving youth companies, our network of 22 associate schools and the communities of Kent.”

Opera North will receive £2,000,000 to deliver its Switch ON programme of online performances.

Summer weather June 4th 2015
Durham Cathedral will receive funding (Owen Humphreys/PA)

General director Richard Mantle said: “It is with overwhelming gratitude that we warmly welcome the announcement that Opera North is to receive £2 million from Arts Council England as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to support the future financial resilience of the company.

“Not only is this an enormous vote of confidence in the work of our company but real evidence of the government’s determination to invest in the north at a time when so many cities and communities are facing such uncertainty.”

The Dean of Durham, Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, spoke of his gratitude after Durham Cathedral received £1,935,000 to cover staff costs and install safety measures.

He said: “Durham Cathedral has served its community as a place of worship, learning, and wonder for almost 1,000 years and this grant will help us to weather the recent storm by ensuring that the doors of one of the most iconic buildings of the North remain open to all.”