'We are going nowhere': Joy for Leeds venues Old Red Bus Station and Blueberry Hill Studios awarded Cultural Recovery Fund cash boost
Two Leeds music venues have been awarded a vital cash boost from the Government to help keep them open.
The Old Red Bus Station, Vicar Lane, and Blueberry Hill Studios in Kirkstall Industrial Park will receive a share of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.
The latest round of grants, awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in partnership with Arts Council England, will help cultural organisations stay open as they face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Leeds venues have been awarded the investment as part of the second round of the Cultural Recovery Fund, for organisations which applied for grants of under £1m.
Across Yorkshire and the Humber, funding has been awarded to 47 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and music venues.
It follows £257m awarded to 1,385 organisations in the first round of grants on Monday, including The Leeds Library.
The Old Red Bus Station has continued to host socially-distanced events with a limited capacity and the venue was thrilled to announce the news of the funding.
In a Facebook post, the team said: "We’ve had to wait a few more days than most to announce this, but we are absolutely over the moon and very shocked to announce we have been successful in our application for the cultural recovery fund!
"This is the news we’ve been waiting for since the grants first got announced, and means we are, for certain, going absolutely nowhere.
"The biggest of thanks to everyone who’s been supporting us, and once again a huge thank you to the teams over at Music Venue Trust and Arts Council England."
Leeds-based charity MAP, an alternative education provider working with young people who cannot access the mainstream school system, is set to benefit from the fund.
The Hepworth art museum in Wakefield and Ilkley Playhouse have also been awarded grants.
Director at the Hepworth Wakefield, Simon Wallis, said: “We are hugely relieved to receive this grant.
"It makes a very welcome contribution to helping us get through the unprecedented financial loses of this year as we prepare to creatively meet the upcoming challenges and opportunities that the entire world now faces together.
"This money will encourage many others to continue investing in our work and our future. Culture will play a key part in building back better and levelling up what is currently an increasingly widening north-south divide in the UK.
"Our sector provides a superb return on investment for the country and we’ll be delighted to use this money at The Hepworth to continue demonstrating the significant part we play for the proven benefit of the economy, audiences, artists, tourism and education.”
Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England said: “The pandemic has had a massive impact on the whole range of organisations working in the North’s cultural sector - theatres, music venues, festivals, museums and the companies who support them with technical sound, light and staging services.
"The cultural sector makes a huge contribution to The North’s economy, quality of life and communities.
"Today we are announcing much needed investment and support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to a group of organisations across the North - with more announcements in the coming weeks - providing an essential lifeline so the cultural sector can survive and come back strongly in the future.”
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