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Government announces first grants from recovery fund

Theatres across the North were today told how much emergency funding they are to receive under the first round of hand-outs from the government’s £1.57b pandemic rescue package.

The announcement sees 1,300 arts organisations in England share a total of £257 million, all individual grants below £1m. More cash awards will be announced in the next few weeks.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The government is here for culture and we have worked around the clock to get this funding to arts organisations.

“It will give many of our wonderful theatres, museums, art groups and cultural venues a helping hand to get them back on their feet. This money will get to work right across the country to save these places and protect jobs. Hundreds of millions of pounds is on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help.”

Theatres and theatre companies in the north receiving grants include: Blackpool Grand, £483,666; Bradford Theatres (Alhambra, etc) £894,423; Buxton Arts Festival £101,895; Buxton Opera House £530,643; Clonter Farm Opera £100,000; Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, £878,492; HOME, Manchester, £351,000; Kendal Brewery Arts Centre £237,815; Lip Service, Manchester £53,846; Rising Moon Theatre, Manchester £60,000; Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse £389,352; Contact, Manchester £193,720; Northern Ballet Theatre, Leeds £744,798; Oldham Coliseum £243,342; Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool £729,915; Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough £247,705; Stockport Plaza Trust £213,611; Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster £150,000; The Edge Arts Centre, Manchester £137,591; York Theatre Royal £236,522; Z-arts, Manchester £132,402; Bury Met £116,000 and Storyhouse, Chester £730,252.

Chester Storyhouse artistic director Alex Clifton, was one one of the first to react: “With this support we will turn immediately to the work, which justifies this investment: to bring people together in safe spaces, with shared joy. Through this work, we turn again to the freelance artists, technicians and performers who have been hit the hardest in our sector. 

"We will use this vote of confidence to help get them back in work.”

Kevin Fearon, executive producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court said: “This funding is hugely important to the business and is the difference between us being able to plan for an exciting future with the great team we have here and the potential closure of the theatre.”

Chris Lawson, artistic director of Oldham Coliseum Theatre said: “We’re thrilled to receive this grant from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund. 

"The Coliseum lies at the heart of Oldham’s community and is a key aspect of Greater Manchester’s cultural offering. There’s still a way to go before we can reopen the Coliseum fully, but thanks to this investment we can ensure our theatre survives this crisis and is here to continue its vital role for generations to come.”


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