Venues welcome share of £257m lifeline to culture sector

Oct 13, 2020

by ANDREW GIBBS e: news@businessmk.co.uk

MORE THAN  £1.4 million in funding is set to provide a lifeline to some of the area’s leading cultural venues.

Organisations such as the Bletchley Park Trust and The Stables theatre at Wavendon are some of the 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. 

The government has announced £257 million of investment in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.  

The Mansion House at Bletchley Park.

Among the 445 heritage organisations to receive a share of £103 million of the funding is the City Discovery Centre at Bradwell Abbey. 

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.”

The funding announcement has been welcomed by Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, whose constituency includes Bletchley Park and The Stables. He said: “Milton Keynes is home to a diverse range of history, culture, theatre, and music organisations that are assets to many of my constituents as well as tourists from all over the country and the world. 

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South.

“I welcome this funding announcement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as it will help these organisations in my constituency to weather these hard times of the coronavirus outbreak but still allow visitors to visit their sites.” 

The money is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund, funded by government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans. 

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

The City Discovery Centre will use the funds to continue its work as caretaker of Milton Keynes’ history, through archives, education, and outreach projects. The money will also help ensure it can continue to host Covid 19 secure weddings and events in the medieval grounds and buildings.

Director and chief executive Noël James said: “We are incredibly grateful to both the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The National Lottery Community Fund for these grants. Their support will help us grow and thrive despite the challenges of 2020.

“We are delighted we can continue our work with the community; maintain our archive and library services; host events and provide education programmes in this new landscape.”

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