County's arts sector given £4.4m Covid lifeline

The Government has handed out desperately needed emergency grants totalling £4.4m for the arts in Lancashire, meaning the show might just go on after all.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 7:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 7:34 am
The 'Conti' gets almost £400,000 in grants scheme.
The 'Conti' gets almost £400,000 in grants scheme.

The lifeline cash comes from the Culture Recovery Fund to help offset the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the entertainments industry.

Three organisations in Preston, one in Leyland and three in Lancaster are amongst the 30 to benefit from yesterday’s announcement – part of a £257m giveaway in the biggest tranche of funding yet to be handed out for arts and cultural organisations.

One of the biggest grants goes to the New Continental in Preston with almost £400,000 to help it recover from a devastating six months.

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Rock royalty Snow Patrol proved a massive coup for live music venue Blitz this year.

A second live music venue in the city - Blitz in Church Row which hosted rock royalty Snow Patrol in January - is awarded £136,363.

LCC’s Lancashire Textile Industry Collection, also based in Preston, gets £64,950.

In South Ribble the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland receives £183,600 to keep the engines running.

In Lancaster there are grants for the Dukes Playhouse (£150,000), Visual Connection Ltd (£115,000) and Funcast Ltd (£50,000).

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowding said: “This is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.”

The Arts Council's area director for the North, Sarah Maxfield, said more grants would follow in the coming weeks.

“The pandemic has had a massive impact on the whole range of organisations working in the North’s cultural sector.”

More announcements would be made soon “providing an essential lifeline so the cultural sector can survive and come back strongly in the future.”