Cambridge Literary Festival’s ‘financial lifeline’ from Culture Recovery Fund

Cambridge Literary Festival has received a ‘financial lifeline’ from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

The festival has been awarded £50,000 to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.

Cambridge Literary Festival (CLF) is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support from the fund.

Festival founder and director Cathy Moore said: “It is with a huge sense of relief and deep gratitude all round for this financial lifeline, which will enable us to retain staff, produce events and continue to deliver a vibrant online literary festival over the next six months, putting us in a much safer place financially until such times as we can confidently and safely run live events again.”

CLF has staged two festivals a year plus one-off events in historic Cambridge venues since 2003.

It became a registered charity in 2013 to support the advancement of public education through the promotion of literature, language and the arts via a literary festival in Cambridge.

Prior to COVID-19, CLF’s main source of income was ticket sales supplemented by individual giving, Friends’ membership, corporate donations and some public funding.

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CLF was financially secure with healthy reserves and about to embark on a 10-year development strategy.

However, as both 2020 festivals were cancelled, CLF was left financially vulnerable.

Almost £260 million of investment has been announced as part of the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

Talking about the CRF cash awarded, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation.

“It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country.

“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.”

Arts Council England chair Sir Nicholas Serota added: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.

“This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences.”