Date issued: 6 January 2021
We are thrilled to announce that Colchester’s cultural sector is to receive significant support from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, set up to help cultural organisations across the country survive during the global coronavirus pandemic.
The ongoing pandemic has had a huge impact on the cultural and creative sector, and the level of investment recognises the real value the sector brings to our local communities and the local economy.
A total of eight grants have so far been awarded to organisations based in the Borough of Colchester, to a total value of £1,600,515. These include grants to Colchester Arts Centre, The Mercury Theatre, and Colchester + Ipswich Museums.
In addition, the Victor Batte-Lay Trust, which is registered in Braintree District but owns and operates the Minories in Colchester town centre, has received a grant from the fund to help reopen the building when this is possible. Layer Marney Tower, within the Borough of Colchester, has also received grants from a separate scheme within the overall Culture Recovery Fund reserved for heritage.
A second round of funding, worth a total of £250 million, opens to applications on the 6 January and closes on the 26 January. This is to help cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021. Full terms and conditions and how to apply can be found at Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Second Round | Arts Council England.
A second round of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage, worth £37 million, opens on the 7 January. More information can be found here: Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Second Round | The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
While we are delighted this targeted support is available and Colchester is benefiting already, we also recognise that the many smaller organisations and individual artists, practitioners and freelancers that are a vital part of our cultural community are worried and struggling.
Also open to applications, with a funding pot of £75 million to March 2021, is Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grant open access fund, which supports individual artists and practitioners as well community and cultural organisations, libraries and museums, to deliver projects that engage people with creativity and culture. More information can be found here Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants | Arts Council England
Councilor Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council said: “This second round of Culture Recovery funding could be a real lifeline for local cultural and heritage organisations, as they recover from this difficult period and build again for the future. So, I would like to encourage all those involved in our vital cultural sector to check this out, and the Project Grant scheme, and apply, if you can, to help sustain our town’s cultural talent and provide for our local communities.”