The Old Courts To Receive Support From 2nd Round Of The Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Old Courts to receive £394,872 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Old Courts among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The Old Courts in Wigan has received a grant of £394,872 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Old Courts in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Old Courts (AATM) is an organisation focussed on supporting inclusive and unparalleled access to arts, culture and heritage activity in Wigan. Our aim is to play a strategic role in both infrastructural development and ensuring quality and equality of provision. Pre-pandemic the organisation had an income model that was heavily weighted towards generated income with 87% of revenue earned through trading activity such as ticket sales, hires, weddings, café and bar sales. This reduced to less than 3% from March 2020. The funding obtained through the Cultural Recovery Fund has allowed the organisation to meet the significant overheads of our large heritage spaces and ensure that the team can continue to invest in the sector through. Our digital programmes continue to drive forward the changes needed to ensure we are able to be ready to play our role in the recovery by championing the role that arts and culture play in the wellbeing of our communities.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

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.”

David Jenkins, The Old Courts Managing Director said: “Without the support of the Cultural Recovery Fund, it is unlikely that the organisation could have navigated its way through the pandemic which has caused in excess of £2.5m (98%) of earned revenue losses. The fund has allowed us not only to survive, but to ensure that the organisation is ready and able to respond to the current and future challenges. As we move into the recovery period, thankfully we are ready to be there for our communities to support their needs. We have met the challenges head on and with the CRF support we have continued with a programme of digital activity investing in over 470 Artists through a programme of multi-artform events and maintained participation activity through digital channels. We have responded to the needs of our communities through direct support for community members with welfare phonelines (over 1000 Calls), food deliveries and 10,000 school meals. We have been there for our creative practitioners and organisations ensuring that the sector as a whole is supported so that we can come back from this period with a collaborative and unified vision to give Wigan the best that we can achieve collectively.

I am humbled and in awe of our team. As a not-for-profit organisation in ‘normal’ times, we re-invest our profit and time into our community, arts and culture – During Covid, the support of the CRF programme has enabled us to adapt to the challenges and meet the needs of our community with innovative operations ensuring that we are at the heart of the community. We feel this demonstrates the vital role that cultural organisations can play as part of community life.

Throughout the recovery period we are here to help the local sector recover and to support other organisations, freelancers and artists. We believe we can all come back stronger than before.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, 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.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.