ARTS AT THE MILL CIC RECEIVES LIFELINE GRANT FROM GOVERNMENT'S £1.57BN CULTURE RECOVERY FUND

Arts at the Mill CIC has been awarded £945,621 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 we have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary announced earlier this week. We are one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced 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.

Our Marketing & Communications Director, Rebecca Davenport said: "We feel lucky and extremely grateful to have been awarded this grant. We had to make the difficult decision to close our doors in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic so this money will go a long way in covering losses incurred in the organisation due to closure. The effects of the pandemic on the Arts sector this year is devastating and we've had no other option but to meet it head on and come up with new solutions. We have worked to continue supporting artists of all divisions with our online programming "The Old Courts Live". We now broadcast live performances, workshops, tutorials, seminars, vlogs and more several times per week to continue to provide creative output and to maintain cultural engagement for all. Doing this has meant we've been able to continue offering paid work in a time when opportunities for artists have become extremely limited. In addition, we've thankfully been able to maintain employment for all our staff members with a number of them continuing to work and some, having been furloughed, using their time to volunteer for the Covid-19 Community Response Team. We are going to use the next few months to engage with our community, stakeholders and artists to further develop our strategy and plan. This will be followed by testing and developing new ways of working with a view of launching our new programme in April 2021. We can't thank DCMS and Arts Council England enough for giving us this incredible lifeline." 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.”

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The Old Courts is a trading name of Arts at the Mill CIC a registered Community Interest Company registered in England

under Number 07411657 at Gerrard Winstanley House, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1 1NA