Northern theatres and museums share in £9m emergency funding

Crucible and Lyceum Sheffield

Northern arts organisations have received £9m from the Arts Council’s emergency funds to help them stay afloat for the next three months.

53 Northern organisations will benefit from the money, which is part of £33m allocated to English organisations desperate for short-term funding.

The groups are all National Portfolio Organisations, designated by Arts Council England as leaders in their areas.

Sheffield Theatres Trust, which runs the Crucible, Studio and Lyceum, will get £676,000 and the trust running Leeds Playhouse has been allocated £669,000.

The Lowry Centre will receive £1.29m and Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, which has announced plans to cut 65% of its permanent workforce, will receive £571,000.

Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley said: “This investment, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, provides critical relief to valued cultural organisations that faced immediate financial disaster before September.

“We know that massive challenges remain in the autumn, and we’ll use the rest of our available funds, alongside the Government funding just announced, to support our sector in the coming months.”

Harrogate Theatre said it “could not be more thankful” to hear it will receive £395,000.

It said: “As the impact of this pandemic continues to develop it is important to recognise that our exit strategy from this crisis still remains uncertain.

“Whilst it is not known when we will be able to host live performances again, we will continue to take care of our staff including freelancers, our supported artists and the wide range of young people we work with.”

The funding has sought to help cultural organisations from across the spectrum that are in urgent need of cash.

Bronte Parsonage, which will get £133,000, said: “We are very grateful (and relieved) to be one of the 196. We still have some way to go, but this Emergency Response grant will be a huge help.”

Other Yorkshire recipients supported in this wave of funding include the York Museums Trust, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Kirklees Theatre Trust and The Hepworth Wakefield Trust.

The money is from the Arts Council’s £160m Emergency Response Package which has already helped to support 10,000 individuals and independent organisations.

The remaining budget from this emergency programme will be used to complement the Government’s £1.57bn rescue package that was announced on Monday.