1,385 arts organisations to share £257m boost from government Culture Recovery Fund

The first round of funding from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has been released today (Monday, October 12), with 1,385 arts organisations, including music venues, theatres and museums, offered a lifeline in their efforts to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of £257 million will be shared amongst organisations that applied for less than £1 million in funding. The investment is aimed at helping venues make it through the next six months and being safely scheduling performances once again. 

Among the successful applicants are iconic venues such as Wigmore Hall (£1 million), Ministry Of Sound (£975,468), Hackney Empire (£585,064), Brudenell Social Club in Leeds (£220,429), Liverpool’s Cavern Club (£525,000), London’s Bush Hall (£679,603), Hootananny Brixton (£250,000), Village Underground (£398,000) Islington Assembly Hall (£235,564), Clapham Grand (£300,000), The 100 Club (£491,486), Camden’s Electric Ballroom (£206,974), End Of The Road Festival (£250,000), among others.

It is estimated that 90 per cent of applications for funding at this stage have been successful. 

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 and hundreds of millions pounds is on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help.”

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Sir Nicholas Serota, chair, Arts Council England, added: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences. Further funding will be announced later in the month and we are working hard to support creative organisations and individuals during these challenging times.”

The announcement was welcomed by UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, who said:

“This funding is fantastic news and will be a lifeline for so many music venues that have been struggling to survive since they first felt the impact of Covid-19 in March. It is a huge vote of confidence in the £5.2 billion UK music industry, and recognises that our industry will be a key part of the post-pandemic recovery.

“The music industry has worked hard to help itself and all those who depend on it to make a living, and shown incredible ingenuity in its fight to get back on its feet. 

“This crucial Government investment in our cultural infrastructure will reap major dividends in the years ahead as we emerge from the pandemic. While the music industry will still need support to help it recover, particularly for the 72% of our sector who are self-employed, today is a hugely welcome first step.

“Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and the Government should be congratulated for these vital steps to preserve our world-leading music industry. This funding will help pave the way for music to become one of the great British success stories of the next decade.”