Theatre News

Arts Council England announces new round of Cultural Recovery Fund recipients

More venues have received financial support

Birmingham Rep, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and the Royal Exchange in Manchester
Birmingham Rep, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and the Royal Exchange in Manchester
© Left: Ross Jukes Centre: David Jensen and FeastRight: Royal Exchange

A raft of venues and organisations have received further government-backed funding under the Cultural Recovery Fund.

As part of the ongoing fund, £93,000,000 was awarded to 819 organisations. Of that number, 265 are based in London, with 114 in the Midlands, 54 in Yorkshire, 31 in the north east, 94 in the north west, 48 in the east of England, 114 in the south east and 97 in the south west.

In terms of value of grants, just over one third of the money awarded went to London, with £10m going to the Midlands, almost £20m to the north, £16.5m to the south east and almost £14m to the south west.

A further £6,216,340 was given in emergency resource support to 54 organisations, of which 17 are in London, 12 are in the south west, 6 are in the Midlands and 3 are in Yorkshire.

In terms of individual organisations, the largest sum – £1,288,643 – was awarded to Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House. £1.1m was given to the English National Ballet, £1m to the Marlowe and £813,367 was given to Theatre Royal Bath. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, which recently unveiled its 90th anniversary season, received £730,755, while Sheffield Theatres Trust (who also recently unveiled its anniversary season) received £700,000. Theatre Royal Plymouth received the same amount.

Other recipients include the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Troubadour Theatres, Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, North Devon Theatres, Rambert, Birmingham Rep, Curve Leicester, Roses Theatre Trust, Young Vic Company and the Riverside Trust.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: "This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It's a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives."

Timothy Sheader and James Pidgeon, joint chief executives of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, said: "Restrictions meant that our 2021 season was shortened and, initially, we were only able to make 50 per cent of our seats available. Following the challenges already experienced in 2020 due to coronavirus, the financial impact of this was significant and put into question the future programming of the theatre. With thanks to DCMS and Arts Council England, receiving this grant has allowed us to green light our 2022 productions – all by living writers – which will ultimately offer work to over 200 freelancers and engage with audiences of 150,000+."

Curve's chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said: "We are indebted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for investing in Curve with a further grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.

"The CRF grants have been a lifeline for Curve – not only have we been able to continue to operate as an organisation and engage audiences and participants digitally during the periods of closure, but the funding has allowed us to employ hundreds of freelance artists and safely reopen our theatre. Sadly, Covid remains an ongoing challenge for our entire industry and this third grant is crucial in helping us to safeguard a future for Curve.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank our principal funders Arts Council England and Leicester City Council as well as our wonderfully supportive audiences, friends and sponsors."

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres said: "We are grateful that the Culture Recovery Fund recognises the essential value of theatre to our city and our society, especially at this time of year, when so many first memories of theatre-going are formed. It enables us to look to the future with confidence at the start of our fiftieth anniversary year. In all our onstage work, we continue to prioritise the employment of freelance makers and artists, and commit to making sure none of our artistic communities are left behind as the industry builds back."