Saved! York music venues, theatres and museums get government cash lifeline

13 Oct 2020 @ 8.01 am
| News

York culture and entertainment leaders have spoken of their huge relief after receiving a cash lifeline from the government.

Music venues to theatres and museums in the city have benefited from a share of of £257 million – the first tranche from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Among those to receive the money are The Crescent Community Venue, which gets £108,000, the York Theatre Royal, which receives more than £230,000, and the York Museums Trust, with £850,000.

Grants to York venues

RecipientGrant value
Fast Entertainment Ltd (Fulford Arms)£82,584
The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles£78,600
The York Early Music Foundation£50,000
Three Little Birds LLP (The Crescent)£108,668
Victoria Vaults£92,244
York Citizen's Theatre Trust (Theatre Royal)£236,522
York Museums Trust£850,000
Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial£312,531
Source: DCMS

York Museums Trust said the grant will help it remain financially viable in the immediate future, having already sustained losses of more than £1.8 million because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Reyahn King said: “This is a huge boost to York Museums Trust and will help sustain us as a charity as we continue to struggle with the significant financial challenges ahead.

“We are greatly aware of how important the museums and collections in our care are to the people and communities of York and to the city as a whole as a cultural destination.

“This funding will enable us to keep York Castle Museum, York Art Gallery and York Museum Gardens partially open until spring 2021 and to invest in fundraising to help bring in additional income and support.  

“It is our ambition to rebuild, as audiences and income hopefully increase as we head into summer 2021.”

The show goes on

York Theatre Royal. Photograph: YorkMix

York Theatre Royal executive director Tom Bird said: “We are delighted that our application has been successful.

“The Cultural Recovery Fund gives much needed financial support to enable us to continue to work behind the scenes and plan for a sustainable re-opening.

“This is great news for our whole community and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the theatre as soon as we are able.”

The Crescent Community Venue said: “This money will enable us to reopen safely, and survive till next spring. We’ve got some fun plans in the meanwhile, but want to wait and see how the news develops tonight and over the next couple of weeks.”

It thanked the government and Arts Council England, which distributed the money, as well as the Music Venue Trust. But the Crescent warned that “freelancers and musicians in particular face a massive threat” and called for a fuller funding package.

The National Centre For Early Music’s director Delma Tomlin said: “We are immensely relieved and grateful to receive this vital financial support.

“This will enable us to present a full programme of activities over the next few months – offering local audiences an opportunity to join us for a series of short, cabaret style shows in a covid-secure environment, whilst continuing to offer high quality music making online to a worldwide audience.”

Live concerts will return to the NCEM in November, showcasing an innovatory mix of events.

The Halifax Bomber ‘Friday the 13th’ at Yorkshire Air Museum. Photographs: Neill Watson

Barbara George, director of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial, said: “These awards will allow us to face with further strength the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that we can remain open successfully and sustainably in the future.

“Importantly, we are delighted by the Government’s decisions which validates our site’s historical significance. The museum reopened to the public on the 4th July and received very positive support from visitors, members, staff and volunteers.”

The Fulford Arms said: “Due to the amazing support from Music Venue Trust over the last few months and with our application, we will be able to survive as a viable grassroots music venue.

“We wait like many others to hear about new restrictions and that will influence what we are able to do for the coming months – but we are really happy that we wlll be able to support our staff and the local music scene that we are proud to be a part of – and congratulations to the other venues.”

The Victoria Vaults said: “There is still a long way to go with new and existing restrictions, however we are extremely grateful and very happy we can continue supporting the local music scene.”