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Over £250 million of grants given to more than 1300 arts organisations in 'vital boost' for culture

The first wave of grants for the government's support package has been announced

The Curve in Leicester
© Ellie Kurttz

The DCMS has unveiled the first set of organisations being awarded grants as part of the Cultural Support Package.

The largest portion of the £1.57bn package revealed earlier this year, it will provide a 'vital boost' for a variety of companies and venues across the UK.

Over 1300 applicants received funds (which are available in a value up to £1m), with larger loans being distributed later this year.

Among theatres being helped are the Young Vic in London (£960,000), Bristol Old Vic (£610,000), Curve Leicester (£950,000), Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court (receiving just shy of £60,000), Storyhouse Chester (£730,000) the Northcott Theatre in Exeter (over £180,000), Lighthouse Poole (£987,000) Hackney Empire (£585,000), Theatre By The Lake, Keswick (£878,000), Theatre Peckham (£150,000) and the Birmingham Royal Ballet (£500,000).

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country - from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.

"This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly."

Further grants and loans are expected to be announced shortly. It is currently unknown what proportion of applicants were accepted or rejected, with the Arts Council, set to distribute the funds, having to apologise following a week's delay.

Bristol Old Vic's artistic director Tom Morris said: "This is fantastic news for many arts organisations all over the country. For Bristol Old Vic it is transformative. Immediately, it keeps us open and prevents another devastating round of redundancies. Beyond that, it gives us a solid platform from which we can contribute to the economic and social recovery which must follow the pandemic over the next two years."

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