Lifeline grant for SKDC arts centres

South Kesteven District Council has been awarded £230,000 from the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

The fund is to help organisations face the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic and ensure they have a sustainable future, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced on Monday (Oct 12th).

SKDC's successful application for funding will help protect Stamford Arts Centre and Grantham's Guildhall Arts Centre from losses this financial year and enable them to continue their most important work of providing a home for creative practitioners from across the district.

Cllr Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, SKDC Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said: "We are enormously grateful to Arts Council England for this funding. It is a real lifeline.

"This award will support our commitment to protect the future of both our arts centres during the coronavirus crisis. Culture plays a significant role in the health and wellbeing of local communities and this funding will support our efforts to deliver cultural services during a very difficult time for the sector." 

Both council venues are currently open to a limited number of regular user groups and organisations, enabling them to deliver classes and workshops. Future plans and events will, however, be subject to the impact of local infection rates.

The council is hoping that planned town centre Family Day activities in spring 2021 and the ongoing delivery of a varied programme of online events will continue to provide entertainment and inspiration across the district.

SKDC is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support.

The £257 million of investment grants announced on Monday (Oct 12 th) is part of the first round of a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

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."

Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: "Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times."