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Arts given £22.4million lifeline

Four Warwickshire and Coventry organisations have secured a £22.4million share of the government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England today (Friday) announced further awards from its: £58.9million has been awarded through the Fund’s Capital Kickstart grants programme, and over £165million has been offered through the Repayable Finance programme.

The Capital Kickstart grants will help cultural organisations across the country cover additional costs, caused by Covid-related delays or fundraising shortfalls, to their capital projects, including building works, refurbishments and large-scale equipment purchases.

In addition to the £19.4 loaned to the RSC (read about that here) £3,064,200 has been awarded to three organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire from the Capital Kickstart programme to strengthen the region’s cultural infrastructure:

Compton Verney (43518221)
Compton Verney (43518221)

Compton Verney (£25,000) is developing artistic and commercial plans, to improve all aspects of the business, including electrical and lighting networks, purchase and upgrade sound and PA equipment and to increase digital capacity.

Julie Finch, CEO, Compton Verney said: “Compton Verney is working hard to enable wider use of the grounds, building stronger connections between art, creativity and the environment.The Kickstart funding support infrastructure to allow the grounds to be developed as spaces for performance, events and platforms for creative activity.We are delighted to be a recipient of a grant and can’t wait to welcome more people to the grounds to enjoy art and creativity in the great outdoors.”

Warwick Arts Centre (£1,919,000) delivers a diverse programme of performing and visual arts, presented in venues and spaces at the heart of the University of Warwick campus. The project will transform Warwick Arts Centre's 40 year old building and greatly improve financial sustainability, by developing three state-of-the-art digital presentation spaces, trading facilities and an accessible and attractive gallery. As well as providing dynamic public spaces, rich in art experiences, and increased accessibility and environmental sustainability.

Doreen Foster, Director, Warwick Arts Centre said: “The support we have received from the Arts Council demonstrates their commitment to the Warwick Arts Centre and our place in the cultural life of Coventry our region. I wish to thank them, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, for all they have done to ensure we have so much to look forward to in 2021 and I cannot wait to welcome back our audiences and visitors to enjoy and experience all that we have to offer.”

As UK City of Culture 2021, Coventry City Council (£1,120,200) will improve cultural buildings to ensure high quality cultural venues and production spaces for City of Culture 2021 and to add to Coventry’s vision for the city to be a culturally attractive, vibrant, leading city of culture in modern Britain. This will be invested in venues such as the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Cathedral, Drapers Hall, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and St Mary’s Guildhall.

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities welcomed the news. He said: “The funding from the Arts Council is crucial at a time when the city is dealing with the knock-on effects of the Covid-19 outbreak. Cultural organisations need to have every opportunity to achieve their full potential and this gives reassurances especially in the short term. All of us are looking ahead to next year with hope. It’s so important for these capital projects to keep progressing in difficult circumstances. It will be a great legacy for our City of Culture year to see them completed and enjoyed by local people and visitors to the city.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re pleased to support three arts and cultural buildings to complete their refurbishments or redevelopments across Coventry and Warwickshire, offering more opportunities for people to experience great art and culture.

“Our Capital Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure they have the right buildings and equipment to help them become more sustainable and innovative places, as they deliver exciting work to the public. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increasing costs and time delays to many projects, so we’re delighted to offer additional funding to make sure these projects are completed, re-opened and of benefit to all.”

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