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‘An absolute lifesaver’: Joy as arts organisations boosted by survival fund

PUBLISHED: 15:13 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 12 October 2020

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre

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Management at theatres and arts organisations across the region are celebrating after receiving lifeline funding.

The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield illuminated in red. Picture: Mick HowesThe Seagull Theatre in Pakefield illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes

More than 1,300 arts venues across the country have been awarded up to £1 million each as part of a share of £257 million of government funding.

The cash is part of the Government’s £1.6 billion Culture Recovery Fund, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden stating the monies will “protect these special places” which “form the soul of our nation”.

St. George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth will host Rapunzel – The Lockdown Pantomime from December 15 to December 19. Picture: St. George's TheatreSt. George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth will host Rapunzel – The Lockdown Pantomime from December 15 to December 19. Picture: St. George's Theatre

With the organisations applying for grants under £1 million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund, today’s (Monday) announcement has seen 103 venues in the East of England awarded funding totalling £18,431,352.

Among those benefiting are the St. George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth, Sheringham Little Theatre, Norwich Arts Centre, The Diss Corn Hall and the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield, Lowestoft.

Technicians working in the auditorium of the Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTechnicians working in the auditorium of the Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steve Scott, chair of trustees at St. George’s Theatre in Yarmouth, said: “The £94,130 we’ve received from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund is an absolute lifesaver for St. George’s.

“This grant has put a huge smile on our faces, and I know that our audiences will be just as happy knowing that we can continue planning for an exciting 2021.”

The Corn Hall at Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Corn Hall at Diss. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sheringham’s pandemic-hit Little Theatre received a £76,644 grant through the Culture Recovery Fund.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “This is fantastic news, and the team here are delighted after some worrying weeks.”

The Culture Recovery Fund logo. Picture: Arts Council England TwitterThe Culture Recovery Fund logo. Picture: Arts Council England Twitter

Lowestoft’s Seagull Theatre has also been awarded a grant as part of the Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Admitting they were “really pleased”, manager Karen Read said: “We have been working hard since July to stay open in a safe way for our customers, and this award means that we will be able to continue to do that as long as the virus allows.”

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating inside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little TheatreThe team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating inside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre

With Norwich Arts Centre being awarded £72,250, NAC director Pasco Kevlin said: “This funding is gratefully received and will allow us to continue to do what we do best which is put on cultural events for our community.”

The Diss Corn Hall has been awarded £54,950, and Lee Johnson, operations manager, said: “The Corn Hall is an important asset to Diss and South Norfolk and we are thankful to receive this funding.”

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little TheatreThe team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre

The venues are part of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country that are receiving urgently needed support as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England and distributed on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Seagull Theatre logo. Picture: Seagull TheatreThe Seagull Theatre logo. Picture: Seagull Theatre


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