The Box in Plymouth has received a further funding boost to help it deal with the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, thanks to a grant of £211,500 from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.
Plymouth’s major new museum, art gallery and archive opened to great acclaim in late September 2020. It managed to attract over 30,000 visitors despite only being able to open for nine weeks before further lockdowns were announced in November 2020 and January 2021.
It’s now busy preparing to re-open its doors to the public on Tuesday 18 May. A range of social distancing measures were put in place at the venue last year to ensure visitor and staff safety and these will continue until restrictions end.
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
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."
Paul Brookes, CEO at The Box said:
“Everyone at The Box has coped brilliantly with the challenges presented to us by the pandemic and we were blown away by the visitor feedback we received last year, but the three lockdowns and social distancing measures we put in place have created a reduction in our visitor capacity and a loss of income. This extra boost from the Culture Recovery Fund will help our recovery and re-opening and we’re extremely grateful, yet again, to Arts Council England for their support.”
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.”
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. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.