Theatres, cinemas and arts venues receive COVID-19 recovery grants

Cambridge Arts Theatre

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded money as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). - Credit: Cambridge Arts Theatre

Venues and organisations in Royston and across Cambridgeshire have received cash in the second round of awards from the government's £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced on Good Friday details of 2,700 organisations across the country being offered nearly £400 million in grants and loans to help them reopen and recover, on top of the £1billion that has already been allocated in the first round.

Royston Picture Palace and Saffron Screen, Cambridge Junction and Cambridge Arts Theatre Trust Ltd are among those benefiting in the East of England.

Cambridge Junction.

Cambridge Junction has been awarded money from the government's Culture Recovery Fund. - Credit: Cambridge Junction

Cambridge Junction will receive £248,083 of funding.

Currently closed, the live arts venue “plays a key role nationally with an artistic programme focused on contemporary and international performance, committed to artistic risk, inclusivity and representation”.

The grant will help the Clifton Way venue to continue to move forward together with artists, audiences and communities as lockdown restrictions begin to end.

Artistic director Matt Burman said: "Everyone at Cambridge Junction – our team, trustees, our resident companies and associate artists – are relieved and grateful for the funding we will receive from the Culture Recovery Fund.  

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"We have continued to work with independent artists and inspiring young people, and engage with our audiences through the last year, and are looking forward to progressing our exciting plans, to connect with communities, restart our live programmes and support the making of new projects, as we emerge from lockdown restrictions over the coming months."

Cambridge Arts Theatre was awarded more than £450,000. 

The venue tweeted: "We're delighted to announce that we have received £459,907 from the second round of the Government's #CultureRecoveryFund.

"Thank you @DCMS, @ace_national and @HMTreasury - we are proud to be #HereForCulture."

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded money from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded money from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. - Credit: Dennis Gilbert. Supplied by Cambridge Arts Theatre

Community cinemas Saffron Screen and Royston Picture Palace will each receive a further £6,970 in round two of the awards, having previously benefited in the first round.

Based in Royston Town Hall, the Picture Palace is run by the same operator as the Saffron Screen in Saffron Walden, offering a diverse programme of films.

Inside Royston Picture Palace

Royston Picture Palace was awarded money from the government's Culture Recovery Fund. - Credit: Royston Picture Palace

Dame Judi Dench, the Oscar-winning star of Shakespeare in Love, said: “Local cinemas are a vital part of our cultural lives, enthralling us with films about lives that we recognise as well as offering us stories about other cultures from around the world.

"They are places where people come together for a shared experience and have inspired many to make their careers on screen.

"We need to make sure that generations today and in the future have the same opportunities to enjoy and take part in the communal big screen experience.”

Grants totalling £27.6 million have now been awarded to independent cinemas in England, administered by the British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Ben Roberts, BFI chief executive, said: “People have been missing the big screen experience and we know they are looking forward to cinemas being able to reopen from May 17 onwards.

"The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline to survival for local independent cinemas up and down the country, ensuring that they will be able to welcome their audiences back.

"In bringing the latest films from blockbusters to British films and new discoveries from around the world as well as screen classics, the local ‘cinema paradiso’ is often the only form of culture and entertainment in their area and are vital to their communities.

"We need them back and thanks to the fund screens will soon light up once more.“

Culture and Sport Minister Oliver Dowden

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

The latest round of funding was reserved from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to allow the government to respond to the changing public health picture.

Seats in Cambridge Arts Theatre

Cambridge Arts Theatre has been awarded a grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). - Credit: Dennis Gilbert. Supplied by Cambridge Arts Theatre

Arts Council England chairman Sir Nicholas Serota said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

"These grants will help to reopen theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

"We are grateful to the government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.” 

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