East Street Arts gets funding boost to help 'secure its future' in Leeds

An arts movement in Leeds has been given a funding boost to help "secure its future" and mitigate the financial losses incurred through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:45 pm
East Street Art's Art Hostel in Mabgate which the charity hopes to be able to open this year thanks to funding help.
East Street Art's Art Hostel in Mabgate which the charity hopes to be able to open this year thanks to funding help.

Leeds-based arts charity East Street Arts has received £118,421 in the latest round of funding through the Government's Culture Recovery Fund Grants.

The grants programme is part of a £1,57 billion package aimed at protecting the UK's culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19

East Street Arts will use the money to cover the "ongoing losses" being incurred by the Arts Hostel and Convention House as well as losses on permanent and temporary properties used as artist studios.

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The charity is working towards making opening its permanent Arts Hostel on Mabgate later this year. The hostel was originally set up as a temporary pop-up in Kirkgate in 2016 as a place for artists from across the world to come and stay.

The Convention House is a designated arts and technology hub which has remained under-utilised due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

This latest funding will also help the charity ensure it comply with the current safety legislation and, working with industry experts, will be able to improve the physical infrastructure to accommodate a phased opening.

Melody Walker, business development lLead at East Street Arts, said: "This is a significant boost from the Culture Recovery Fund which will help us to get back on track and move the organisation forward following the pandemic.

"We are grateful to Arts Council England and DCMS [Department for Culture, Media and Sport] who have helped secure our future.

"COVID has had a devastating impact on the arts and tourism and we hope with the phased opening of two important capital projects, Convention House and the Art Hostel we can continue to play a key role in the life of our city and our local economy.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said: “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.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, said: “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.”

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