The Headgate Theatre in Colchester has received a grant of £60,175 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.
The announcement was greeted with delight by the volunteer team running the 87-seat venue in the town centre that also includes rehearsal and dance studios. The theatre has had no income at all from performance since lockdown began in 2020. The grant will cover the costs of maintaining the building and some of the overheads associated with the premises. It will also help meet some of the costs in the coming months as the theatre prepares to re-open for performance and a full and varied autumn programme.
The Culture Recovery Fund grant, together with a business grant and the money recently raised through a Crowdfunder appeal, is a real boost for the venue – and for the various community groups and performing groups that use the vibrant community theatre.
“What a fantastic recognition of the contribution that the Headgate Theatre brings to Colchester as part of the arts and theatre scene! This money is an absolute lifeline for a small theatre venue such as ours. The support for The Headgate from our patrons, hirers and volunteers has been outstanding ever since we opened almost 20 years ago, and over the last 12 months it has been exceptional. It will enable us to offer a variety of opportunities to local community groups and freelancers as we come out of lock down. We look forward to the next stage of creativity and community engagement at The Headgate.”
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."
“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.