Arts venues across Merseyside are to get more than £6m in Government funding to help them through the pandemic.
The major cash boost is part of a £30m package from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help 39 venues in the region, including ones in St Helens, Halton and Sefton.
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, theatres and museums have suffered with a severe cut in visitors, putting many at risk of closure.
1,385 theatres, museums, performance groups and arts organisations across England will receive a share of £257 million from the Government – part of a wider £1.6 billion Culture Recovery Fund to get the sector back on its feet after coronavirus. This funding will be used to help performances to restart, to allow venues plan for reopening and to protect jobs and create new opportunities for freelancers.
The awards are being made by the Arts Council England and comes on top of £103 million of emergency funding that has been distributed from the Culture Recovery Fund for heritage venues and £3.5 million of emergency funding for music venues.
This current round of awards covers grants of up to £1 million, meaning there is a particular focus on smaller organisations that play a central role in their local communities and will help to launch the stars of tomorrow. Others are already known around the world, such as the Cavern Club in Liverpool - which launched the Beatles, the internationally renowned London Symphony Orchestra and the Bristol Old Vic - the oldest continuously working theatre in the English language. Further grants and loans set to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Prime Minister has committed supporting the arts and culture sectors through coronavirus, and, in addition to this latest funding, the Conservative Government has already provided unprecedented financial assistance, including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme.
Commenting, Conservative Liverpool City Region Mayoral Candidate Jade Marsden said:
“ Cultural organisations make a huge contribution to Merseyside and I do not underestimate just how challenging recent months have been.I am thrilled that arts and culture will receive a boost thanks to Government funding, helping organisations to plan for their eventual reopening while protecting jobs in the meantime.
This Conservative Government promised to protect lives and livelihoods throughout the pandemic, and this latest support will help our vital cultural institutions to build back better after coronavirus."
Also commenting, 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 - from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.
“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.”