Financial boost for Wigan arts organisations to help with recovery from Covid-19 pandemic

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More than half a million pounds has been given to four Wigan organisations to help them recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that 925 cultural and creative organisations nationally are to receive a share of £107m in grants and loans as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Among the recipients are Arts At The Mill CIC, which runs The Old Courts in Wigan and will get £391,202.

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As one of the largest arts centres in the country, it is putting Wigan on the map as a cultural destination, offers people the opportunity to get involved in arts and culture and is nurturing home-grown talent.

The Old CourtsThe Old Courts
The Old Courts
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Managing director David Jenkins said: “We are deeply grateful for the support received through the Culture Recovery Fund. This support has meant we have been able to listen and respond to the communities we serve and work together with communities, artists and organisations to develop opportunities in Wigan throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Other organisations in the borough set to get a financial boost are Promoter Friendly Agency (£97,000), Peculius Stage Ltd (£40,000) and Plain View Production Ltd (£30,000).

Nationally more than £100 million has been awarded in grants through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

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That includes £5.6m given to 51 organisations in Greater Manchester through the Arts Council, which will support theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations and venues to reopen and recover.

Sarah Maxfield, area director in the North for Arts Council England, said: “The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline to cultural organisations across the north of England. This unprecedented level of funding from the Government acknowledges the important role art and culture plays not only for the economic prosperity of the North, but also for the quality of life of the people who live here. This investment will support many cultural organisations, including museums, art galleries, theatres, art centres and music venues, to continue to provide an essential creative service in person and online to communities throughout the North.”

The announcement follows the second round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund - part of the Culture Recovery Fund - delivered by Historic England.

Those benefiting included Leigh Spinners Mill, which received £126,000 to help refurbish the fifth floor, repair the roof and engine house, and create a heritage store and large multi-use space.

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This will also provide 20 jobs and new opportunities for on-site work experience as part of wider construction skills training.

More than £1.2bn has now been awarded through the Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5,000 organisations and sites nationally, from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply chains.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

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