Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Swindon and Wiltshire arts companies share £1.9 million funding lifeline

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Wyvern Theatre, Swindon


Nine arts companies in Swindon and Wiltshire are to receive a total of £1.9 million from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Companies that have received a life line to help them through the coronavirus pandemic – which has seen performances cancelled and venues closed – include a literature festival, rock music venues, theatre, classical music and dance venues, and an outdoor music festival.

Among the recipients are:

  • Wiltshire Creative, Salisbury - £446,968
  • Chalke Valley History Festival, Salisbury – £260,000
  • WOMAD Ltd, Malmesbury - £248,006
  • Wyvern Theatre Ltd, Swindon - £242,844
  • Wiltshire Music Centre Trust Ltd, Bradford-on-Avon - £188,158
  • Level 3, Swindon – £165,937
  • Old Town Sounds Ltd, Swindon - £161,583
  • Swindon Dance - £105,325
  • The Pound Arts Trust Ltd, Corsham - £64,891

Arts Council England is distributing funding on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "The government is here for culture and we have worked around the clock to get this record investment out to the frontline.

"It will allow our wonderful theatres, museums, music venues and cultural organisations to survive this crisis and start putting on performances again - protecting jobs and creating new work for freelancers.

"This is just the start - with hundreds of millions pounds more on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help."

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said: "Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.

"This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.

"Further funding will be announced later in the month and we are working hard to support creative organisations and individuals during these challenging times."

In a statement, the Wyvern Theatre said: "We are delighted to confirm that our bid for support has been successful. This vital lifeline means we will be #HereForCulture now, and into the future."

And Wiltshire Music Centre's chief executive, Maud Saint-Sardos, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded funding via the Arts Council England #CultureRecoveryFund.

"This pivotal grant, together with support through our Community Fundraising Appeal, and the commitment and generosity of our Friends, Angels, volunteers and supporters, will enable us to continue to be #HereForCulture and for our community.

"This year has posed unprecedented challenges for Wiltshire Music Centre and for our colleagues across the sector. Support through the Culture Recovery Fund will help us to face these head on. It will enable us to adapt and innovate in response to the changing artistic landscape, continue to deliver ambitious programming and projects, and embrace digital and new opportunities for livestream broadcasting from the Centre.

"It will help us to protect and create important employment opportunities within the sector and to ensure that we can continue to operate safely and effectively, in a Covid-secure way."

Pictured: Wyvern Theatre, Swindon