The Northumberland arts venues given £1.1million funding to safeguard culture sector

Key venues in Alnwick, Berwick and Hexham are among 10 arts and cultural organisations in Northumberland to receive a share of more than £1.1million.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 12th October 2020, 4:35 pm
Alnwick Playhouse.
Alnwick Playhouse.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England have today (Monday, October 12) announced that 1,385 organisations are to receive a share of £257million as part of the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund.

These recipients are those that applied for grants of under £1million in the first round to help them create work and performances or plan for reopening.

The biggest beneficiaries in Northumberland are The Maltings in Berwick, which will receive £230,000, and Alnwick Playhouse, which has been awarded £197,668.

Another arts venue in rural Northumberland, the Queen’s Hall in Hexham, is to receive £147,563, while there is £60,000 for the town’s Book Festival and £140,000 for Prudhoe-based theatre and creative learning company Mortal Fools.

The Alnwick Garden has been awarded £90,000, while there is £60,250 for Blyth-based Headway Arts, which specialises in participatory arts with disadvantaged groups, including learning disabled people of all ages.

Satellite Films, a production company based in Hexham, will receive £62,092, while Stocksfield-based music festival management company APL Event Ltd is in line for £56,000, alongside £109,420 for C&D Circus Productions Limited.

Sarah Maxfield, area director north for Arts Council England said that the ‘pandemic has had a massive impact on the whole range of organisations’ and that the support will ‘provide an essential lifeline so the cultural sector can survive and come back strongly in the future’.

“The cultural sector makes a huge contribution to the north’s economy, quality of life and communities,” she added.

The £257million is the biggest tranche of funding distributed to date from the Culture Recovery Fund and the first in a series of announcements.

Applicants for grants of more than £1million as well as those who applied to round two of the fund and the repayable finance programme will be notified of their outcomes shortly.

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.”

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