Lancaster and Morecambe arts organisations get share of government's latest £400m Covid recovery funding

Several arts organisations across the Lancaster district have been helped out by the latest round of funding from the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:30 pm
The Dukes in Lancaster.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced on Friday that more than 2,700 cultural and creative organisations are to receive a share of £400m as part of a vital financial boost from the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund – which has been awarded through Arts Council England Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Of this, £4,501,380 has been invested in arts and cultural organisations across Lancashire through the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

And in this latest round, The Dukes Playhouse was awarded £75,000, More Music received £95,450, imitating the dog arts project received £37,500, Lancaster Footlights was awarded £153,503 and the Highest Point Festival received £72,900.

The Highest Point Festival in Williamson Park. Photo by Robin Zahler

This is in addition to several organisations who were awarded funding during the first round: Funcast Ltd got £50,000, Lancaster Castle Holdings Ltd got £77,713, The Dukes Playhouse got £150,000 and Visual Connection Ltd got £115,965.

The government investment will help save 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.

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.”

Nearly all of the original £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has now been allocated, with over £1.2 billion in grants and repayable finance offered to more than 5,000 individual organisations and sites, and further grants to be finalised over the coming weeks. £188 million has been given to the devolved administrations through the Barnett formula, with Northern Ireland receiving £33 million, Scotland £97 million and Wales £59 million. £100 million has been given to national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, 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 re-open 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.”

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160m Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90 per cent coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support.

At last month’s Budget, the Chancellor announced a £300m boost for the Culture Recovery Fund, as part of a wider £408m package for arts and culture taking direct government investment in the sector since the start of the pandemic stands at almost £2bn.

Further details on the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund will be available in due course.