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£1.24 million boost for eight Shropshire arts and cultural organisations

Eight Shropshire arts and cultural organisations are to benefit from a share of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The Hive has been awarded £74,094 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
The Hive has been awarded £74,094 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

In Shropshire a £1,243,145 investment will help eight 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.

Organisations that will be receiving funding in Shropshire include: 

Albert’s Shed which has two performance venues in Shrewsbury and Telford where bands gig, ranging from emerging talent to high profile artists and cover acts was awarded £580,000.

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has been awarded £93,000 to help with the festival’s on-going running costs as it plans its 2021 event and will support the implementation of the relevant measures to ensure the safety of festivalgoers attending next year.

Festival Director Sandra Surtees said: “We are very excited and grateful to have received this grant. It will allow us to lay on the same fabulous festival that we always do with the necessary measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of our festival family. Being able to bring such an incredible variety of live music to Shrewsbury every year is a huge honour and we’re delighted that the contribution we make to local culture and the economy has been recognised with the award of this grant.”

£70,000 was awarded to Disability Arts Shropshire, which during lockdown developed an online introduction to art history course, ‘Art Influencers: A Guided Tour of Art History’. The 14-week pilot will also create the ‘Navigate’ programme for young Disabled artists offering an alternative, inclusive and accessible route into the arts.

Ludlow Assembly Rooms was awarded £97,250 which will be used for developing safe live performances working in partnership with the Ludlow Music Society.

The Hive in Shrewsbury has been awarded £74,094, the venue reopened on October 1st with a limited selection of events, after being closed since late March, due to the nationwide lockdown.

CEO, The Hive, Katie Jennings, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive Culture Recovery Funding and would like to thank the UK government and Arts Council England for this vital financial boost. Thanks to this funding The Hive will be able to work with more communities across the region as well as ensuring the venue continues to provide innovative cultural and creative events. Like many other arts organisations and charities across the country, this year has been particularly challenging for us as we have not been able to run events, activities, and workshops that we would normally offer throughout the year. Thanks to this support, we are optimistic for the coming months and are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the venue safely.”

Vital boost

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 – from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic. 

“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.”

Hugely welcome

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted the Culture Recovery Fund has enabled support for a wide range of arts and cultural sector companies across Shropshire.

“The government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to remain in business through to the Spring. Well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited. This is welcome news not only for those in receipt of the funding but also for communities in villages, towns and cities across the Midlands where this matters so much.

“We know that creativity, arts and culture benefit us in so many ways, having a positive impact on our wellbeing, bringing us together and making a significant contribution to the local and national economy – today’s announcements gives us a chance to continue that and contribute to the national recovery, post-Covid.”

Today’s recipients are those that applied for grants of under £1 million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund. 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.

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Chris Pritchard
Chris Pritchard is Editor of Shropshire Live and lives in Shrewsbury. You can contact Chris by emailing chris.pritchard@shropshirelive.com or call 01743 818 095.
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