Not for Profit

Arts Council reveals covid emergency cash for 20-plus Gloucestershire groups

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 17 June 2020 7:20

Twenty-plus organisations in Gloucestershire will benefit from £8.5 million of emergency funding from Arts Council England.

At least 23 organisations involved in arts and culture in Gloucestershire have been listed as beneficiaries of the spending spree, with amounts ranging from £10,000 to £35,000. 

Across the region £8.5 million has been awarded to 873 individuals and 302 independent organisations through what the council is calling its Covid-19 emergency response package, with cash ultimately coming from the National Lottery and Government. 

As Louise Brice, of Stroud Book Festival explained, the money might sound small - but would have a huge impact on which they were able to achieve.

"It is challenging and uncertain times for all of us. But the Arts Council Grant makes an enormous difference to our viability this year and we are incredibly grateful for their support," said Ms Brice.

"Stroud Book festival is now in it’s fifth year. We went into lockdown the week after we announced the 2020 Festival dates (November 4-8).

"Since then, we’ve tried to come to terms with the difficulties, both practical and financial, of producing a Festival on a shoestring budget, with our normal income sources (ticket sales, sponsorship, grants) all threatened by the current situation.

"Arts Council England Funding means we are able to run the festival this year.  We are incredibly excited to announce our line-up this Summer, and I’m very happy to send you information (press release) when we do this."

Phil Gibby, area director, Arts Council England, South West, said: “The creative and cultural sector helps to generate the local economy, provides jobs, improves people’s wellbeing and helps us to make sense of the world. 

“And like so many other sectors, it has never faced a challenge of this scale which is why we are pleased to make this funding announcement today, in the knowledge that this funding will not just keep the lights on but will also connect many people at this challenging time.” 

Beneficiaries in Gloucestershire include: Roses Theatre Trust (£34,829) in Tewkesbury, Art Shape Ltd (£21,750) in Brockworth, Unite The Beat (£16,800), Wildwood Art CIC (£34,812), Dean Heritage Museum £15,000 and Canopy (£6,666), in the Forest of Dean, The Cheltenham Trust, (£28,617), Gloucester Culture Trust £ (25,385), Three Choirs Festival (£30,676) and Your Next Move (£19,795) in Gloucester, Get Lost and Found It Ltd (£18,190) in Stonehouse, Hawkwood College (£35,000) in Stroud as well as Stroud Book Festival (£18,365), Stroud Subscription Rooms (£35,000), Stroud International Textiles (£18,000), Artlift (£18,759) and World Jungle (£34,502 in Dursley, Combined Arts, (£33,360), Stand and Stare (£23,360) and The Music Works (£35,000) in Nailsworth, and Under the Edge Arts (£10,000) in Wotton and in Cirencester, New Brewery Art Ltd (£34,986) and The Barn Theatre (£35,000) and in Tetbury, Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre (£22,021) and in Withington in the Cotswolds, Miss Maryjane Morgan (£16,500) and in Moreton-in-Marsh La Serenissima (£22,500). 

For organisation like The Music Works – so close to being able to go ahead with its ambitious plans for a new music venue for young people in Gloucester (pictured below: an artist's impression of the outside of the project) made possible through a crowdfunding campaign – this will be exciting news. 

Read more: Funding almost in place for incredible new live music venue

The Arts Council’s emergency response package was designed to help alleviate the immediate pressures faced by artists, creative practitioners, arts organisations, museums, and libraries over summer – supporting them as they continue to serve their communities during this crisis and affording them the time to stabilise and plan for the future. 

A £50 million of the Arts Council’s emergency response package was available to support organisations outside of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, with £6.5 million awarded to 302 organisations across the South West. 

Ensuring equitable access to funding, and a continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, underpinned the guidance for the emergency response package and funding priorities. 

More than £678,600 has been invested to support 31 disability-led organisations across the South West, almost £600,000 has been awarded to 25 Black and minority ethnic-led organisations and over £3 million of funding has been awarded to female-led organisations.

Picture: Courtesy of The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

The Arts Council has awarded 873 grants totalling £2 million to individual artists and creative practitioners across the South West. In addition to this, £4 million was distributed across the country to a series of Benevolent Funds supporting cultural workers, including musicians, stage technicians and conservators. 

The grants announced cover the first two elements of the Arts Council’s £160 million emergency support package. 

Some £90 million was also made available to support National Portfolio Organisations, with decisions on this funding currently underway. 

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. 

Between 2018 and 2022, it plans to invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision.