Chesterfield Theatres and Chesterfield Museum have been awarded more than £400,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future; the Culture Secretary has announced.
A total of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support including a Real Time Live in Chesterfield. £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.
Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
The Grade II-listed theatres, the Pomegranate Theatre and The Winding Wheel Theatre, are owned and managed by Chesterfield Borough Council. The theatres have received £249,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.
The Theatres’ range of events came to an abrupt halt midway through March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In July, the Theatres reintroduced cinema screenings, followed by live theatre performances in October. The previous closure and the current requirements for events to take place with a reduced seating capacity has been challenging for the venues whose income from ticket sales, bar sales, and venue hire are integral to the Theatres’ survival.
The Culture Recovery Fund will ensure the theatres can continue entertaining audiences in the current climate.
Chesterfield Museum, which is owned and managed by Chesterfield Borough Council, has received £165,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.
Whilst the Museum has still not reopened since closing in March, the team have continued to create online events and activities to help people connect with the history of Chesterfield.
The Culture Recovery Fund will ensure that the museum can continue to maintain its collection and will be able to reopen when it is safe to do so.
Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “This funding is vital to ensuring the future of our historic theatres and museum which are an important part of our town’s cultural identity.
“Despite the theatres reopening in July we have still faced a number of challenges because of the reduced seating capacity but this funding will ensure we can continue to deliver performances for the people of Chesterfield and help to support the theatre industry.
“Unfortunately, we are still unable to reopen Chesterfield Museum due to social distancing requirements, but this funding will ensure we can continue to care for our collections and reopen them to the public when it is safe to do so.”
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.
“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.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”