● Weston-super-Mare Town Council among 925 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund
● This award will ensure the Blakehay Theatre can return to usual service provision after 22 months of closure by supporting costs associated with staffing and overheads.
More than £100 million has been awarded to hundreds of cultural organisations across the country including Blakehay Theatre in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced 19th November.
Blakehay Theatre in Weston-super-Mare has been awarded a grant of £39,238 by Arts Council England.
The Blakehay Theatre is a small regional theatre which plays an important role in the landscape of the South West. The theatres uniquely diverse programme of locally produced and touring work is curated especially for our audience. Not only is the Blakehay Theatre an essential part of Weston-super-Mare Town Councils strategy, with heritage arts and culture one the 5 priority pillars, it is also essential to the North Somerset Council’s ten-year strategy for heritage arts and culture. The Blakehay Theatre is at the heart of a growing creative network in Weston which aims not only to be inclusive for all, but also actively encourage and educate our community about the importance of culture. This funding will enable the Blakehay Theatre to rebuild funds, following its closure in March 2020. With little income during this time, and delays to building works which have postponed the reopening, support is required to assist with costs associated with staffing and overheads.
The third round of funding will support organisations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:
“Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.
“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”
Over £1.2 billion has already been awarded from the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5000 individual organisations and sites across the country ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains.
Sally Heath, Theatre Manager, Blakehay Theatre, said:
‘We are thrilled that this money has meant that we are able to re-open the theatre in January 2022’.
John Crockford Hawley, Chair of Heritage Arts and Culture Committee, said:
“This shows Government confidence in what the Town Council is trying to achieve with our revamped Blakehay theatre”.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:
“This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives”.