Lancaster theatre to be awarded £150k emergency Covid recovery boost

The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster is among almost 1,400 arts and cultural organisations to receive a share of £257m as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 3:56 pm
The Dukes.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England has announced that 1,385 venues will be helped - and Dukes director Karen O'Neill said it means they can "breathe a sigh of relief".

In Lancashire this investment will help save 30 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure they have a sustainable future and continue to bring joy to local communities and international audiences.

The recipients applied for grants of under £1m in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

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The Dukes will receive £150,000

This funding will help organisations create work and performances, and plan for reopening, using creative ways to reach audiences.

It is the biggest tranche of funding distributed to date from the Culture Recovery Fund, and the first in a series of announcements on the funding programmes administered by Arts Council England.

Applicants for grants of more than £1m, as well as those who applied to round two of the fund and the Repayable Finance programme, will be notified of their outcomes shortly.

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.”

Director of The Dukes Karen O'Neill said: "This morning we have been able to breathe a sigh of relief at the good news that we have been successful in securing a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.

"This grant will help to further secure the future of the Dukes and ensure that this vital cultural asset remains part of the Lancaster District and county.

"We are very grateful to Arts Council England, DCMS and HM Treasury for this support and also send a big, big thank you to our supporters, audiences, communities, volunteers and staff who continue to make incredible things happen at the Dukes.

"Although there are still challenges ahead, we are now looking towards the future with a renewed sense of hope and positivity for arts and culture in Lancaster.”

Sarah Maxfield, area director north, Arts Council England, said: “The pandemic has had a massive impact on the whole range of organisations working in the North’s cultural sector - theatres, music venues, festivals, museums and the companies who support them with technical sound, light and staging services.

"The cultural sector makes a huge contribution to the north’s economy, quality of life and communities. Today we are announcing much needed investment and support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to a group of organisations across the North - with more announcements in the coming weeks - providing an essential lifeline so the cultural sector can survive and come back strongly in the future.”