Park Theatre receives £250,000 grant from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund
12 October 2020
Park Theatre has been awarded £250,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.
Park Theatre is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Jez Bond, Artistic Director, Park Theatre “We are delighted and relieved to receive the Cultural Recovery Grant of £250,000 from the government. The very essence of theatre is gathering people together in the same room for a live, shared experience – and the economics of venues at our scale, mean that it’s not financially viable to produce shows with social distancing in place. This money, however, will enable us to prepare our building so it’s ‘Covid-secure’, and subsidise us to present smaller scale work over the next few months before we can reopen fully. It also allows us to offer the space for the development of diverse, new work – enabling us in turn to support freelance practitioners who – in the majority of cases – have tragically slipped through the net in terms any support packages. We thank the Arts Council and the Government for this grant and for recognising the importance of the role we play in our community."
The monies from the Cultural Recovery Fund will enable us to make our building COVID-secure and to operate safely under current or future restrictions. Whilst full scale shows will not be able to resume until we can open without social distancing, this grant will crucially enable us to generate smaller scale cultural activity and, by supporting freelance practitioners who have been so brutally overlooked thus far, help revive the fragile ecosystem of our industry. The majority of our staff will be able to return from furlough to prepare the building and service the upcoming artistic work, and volunteers and patrons will be able to come back to our building with confidence and excitement. Offstage our community engagement work with young people through to our dementia group, all of which transferred online through lockdown, can once more return to the building; and we receive a much needed financial boost to help develop work with and by artists from traditionally underrepresented groups, which will take place over the coming months.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding 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. These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Park Theatre not only presents exceptional theatre in the heart of Finsbury Park, it is a creative community hub and has been a huge part of the redevelopment of the area. In seven years of providing affordable, accessible theatre, it has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona featuring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty five national tours, five Olivier Award nominations (most recently for Warheads by Taz Skylar in the upcoming 2020 awards this October), has won Offie Awards for Best New Play and Best Foodie Experience (two years running), a West End Wilma Achievement in Accessible Theatre award and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage.
Park Theatre welcomes thousands of visitors a year, many of whom come to see productions, but also a huge amount who come to participate in their range of outreach programmes and hugely popular Cafe Bar, which is open as a safe space for all. The venue have spearheaded many accessible theatre initiatives, including their popular dementia friendly performances. Park Theatre’s Creative Learning programme, which went digital in May 2020 following the necessary closure of the theatre, has kept participants as young as four as well as those living in care homes creatively connected throughout the pandemic.
If you would like to support Park Theatre, our Park Life Fund will remain open for as long as we remain closed: DONATE HERE