Cavern Club and LSO get Share of £257m Culture Fund

Venues and organizations including The Cavern Club in Liverpool and the London Symphony Orchestra are to receive a share of £257m government arts funding.

Cavern Club and LSO get Share of £257m Culture Fund

The Cavern, which hosted early gigs from The Beatles, has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians.

More than 1,300 organizations are set to benefit, including the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described the move as “a vital boost”.

‘Soul of the nation’

“This funding is a vital boost for the theaters, music venues, museums and cultural organizations that form the soul of our nation,” said Dowden in a statement about the money, which will come out of the wider £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund.

“It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Dame Darcey Bussell at the Royal Academy of Dance in London

Birmingham Royal Ballet will receive £500,000 to help offset loss of earnings from performances and touring, while The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will get £846,000 to help begin a phased return to full-scale performance.

LSO music director Sir Simon Rattle said today’s announcement “is incredibly important for orchestras and the whole live music sector”.

‘Refused to be silenced’

“We have refused to let live music be silenced, but it cannot survive on energy and optimism alone,” he said.

“We need, and are grateful for, this support as we take our first steps in public performance once more, enabling us to show the full power of our creative community.”

Sir Simon Rattle rehearsing with the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke's in London in August

Bristol’s Old Vic Theater now has £610,466 coming its way to help transform the business.

Beamish Living Museum of the North, in County Durham, will get £970,000 to support the business through the winter.

And Wigmore Hall in London successfully applied for £1m to sustain its future.

Monday’s recipients are venues and organizations – largely in England – that could apply for a maximum of £1m of funding, with future releases of up to £3m going to larger organizations.

‘Bring joy’

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), which Mr Dowden visited on Monday, will receive £606,366 to enable students and teachers to get back to work.

Dame Darcey Bussell said it was a “pleasure” to welcome him, following the funding news. “We cannot overestimate the value of arts and culture in our lives, and its ability to build community, resilience and bring joy,” said Dame Darcey.

Not all venues that applied were successful, however.

Comedian Joe Lycett tweeted to say it was “a tragedy for the British comedy scene” that Manchester’s famous and often career-launching comedy club The Frog and Bucket had not made the cut.

Fellow comic Matt Forde seconded that notion, describing the venue as “culturally significant to the whole country”.

Meanwhile, Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, noted how “very limited numbers of dance music clubs and events” had received funding at this crucial point.

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‘Perilous cliff edge’

“We have been aware all along that the fund would not be able to support everyone, and will leave many businesses who have missed out on this opportunity awaiting on a perilous cliff edge, which will result in further redundancies in the coming weeks,” said Kill.

“We need the government to step up and support our sector,” he added.

Sub Club

Many music venues and cultural organizations have been under threat of closure due to the financial impact of coronavirus.

Others to receive grants in this tranche also include the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, London’s Young Vic theater, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, as well as smaller music venues like The Brudenell in Leeds.

Owner Nathan Clark added they were “delighted” to have succeeded in their bid. He said the grant would provide “long term survival, security and resilience”.

According to Arts Council England, which will distribute the new funds, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10bn a year to the UK economy.


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