75 West Midlands organisations to be supported in latest recovery fund grants

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Some 75 arts, heritage, and cultural organisations in the West Midlands are to benefit from a share of £6.3m from the third round of the Cultural Recovery Fund.

£6m in continuity support grants will be awarded to over 72 previous Culture Recovery Fund recipients in the West Midlands, administered by Arts Council England, the British Film Institute, Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The grants are providing a lifeline to the organisations such as FRONTLINEdance in Stoke, the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, and the Mockingbird Cinema Birmingham. Some recipients are receiving the emergency grant for the first time.

Hundreds of organisations across England will receive a share of £107m, from the additional £300m announced by the Chancellor at March’s budget review. This brings the total cash support package for culture during the pandemic is close to £2bn.

Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.
“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

Four organisations in the West Midlands have been awarded grants from the Emergency Resource Support strand of funding. This grant looks to help those at imminent risk, to protect jobs by saving the organisation, such as Corey Baker Dance Company, based in Birmingham.

The application window will reopen soon for the Emergency Resource Support programme to access urgent funding through the winter period.

The funding administered by Arts Council England will give theatres across the West Midlands more than £2.2m. The Wolverhampton Grand has been awarded £410,805 to ensure they can continue running a programme of outreach activity, including tours, youth theatre, book clubs, BAME ambassador forums and dementia-friendly activities.

Adrian Jackson, chief executive and artistic director, Wolverhampton Grand said: “Having been successful in the first two rounds of the Cultural Recovery Funding we remain incredibly grateful to the DCMS and The Arts Council for now granting our third round application. To be awarded a fund of up to £410,000 is a great reassurance to ensure our work can be safeguarded in the immediate future if needed. We would also like to thank our patrons who have returned in high numbers since the full re-opening in September. It has been so incredible to see sold-out performances after such a long hiatus.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, says the grant is to make sure everyone can access arts and culture. Another recipient is FRONTLINEdance in Staffordshire, a disability-focused dance company. The company has been awarded £32,993 which will enable them to continue running participatory work, including with those with health conditions, elders’ groups and Zoom sessions for the isolated.

Rachael Lines, artistic director, FRONTLINEdance said: “We have really missed engaging with people in dance in hospitals as we would normally do. This further support means that we can continue providing opportunities via our core participatory programmes, which engages 5 to 80-year-olds on a weekly basis, and implement the plans we have put in place to provide us with greater stability in 2022.”

Four cinemas across the West Midlands have been awarded £319,568 from the British Film Institute. Birmingham’s Mockingbird Cinema, the only specialised independent cinema in the city centre has been awarded £78,140 to deliver a diverse film programme to new consumers and to support independent filmmakers.

Lee Nabbs, programmer/director, Mockingbird Cinema Birmingham said: “This is very important to us as it enables us to carry on the work we have been doing in the local community. The fund allows us to carry on offering a diverse range of film programming whilst also supporting the Birmingham film community with a place to exhibit their own work.”

Darren Henley, chief executive, Arts Council England said: “This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and art centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.”