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Further investment from government’s Culture Recovery Fund

We’re thrilled to announce we’ll receive a vital support package totalling £109,567 from the second round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. This investment will help our charity look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery.

We are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund. The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.

"We are extremely grateful to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England for approving our application to the second round of Culture Recovery Fund."

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive of Play to the Crowd

Deryck Newland, Chief Executive comments, ‘This Culture Recovery Fund grant will help to mitigate some of the ongoing risks and uncertainties around Covid-19 across the next three months. Whilst Theatre Royal Winchester remains closed we are unable to earn any significant income and from the end May, when venues are allowed to re-open, the social distancing measures in place will mean limited capacities which financially just don’t stack up.’

Deryck Newland continues: ‘This has been, and continues to be, an extremely challenging time for the sector. However, with the number of Covid cases continuing to fall and the extraordinary roll out of the vaccine programme there is light at the end of the long tunnel! We continue to plan with caution the re-opening of the theatre and its Cafe Bar. We are very mindful that people’s confidence to return to live events may still be a way off so we are looking to keep some social distancing measures in place throughout the summer months. Details of when we will be reopening will be announced soon. We are however delighted to confirm that our Outdoor Arts Festival Hat Fair will take place from 2-4 July 2021. The festival will take a slightly different format this year with all 3 days at North Walls Recreation Ground and the event, for the first time, will be ticketed. This allows us to restrict numbers and keep the festival socially distanced.

We are grateful to the government for recognising the value of the arts, however the Culture Recovery Fund won’t save every venue or arts organisation and our thoughts are with those whose future remains uncertain, together with the thousands of freelancers who are the life blood of our industry and many of whom remain without any financial support since March 2020.’

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: ‘Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.'