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£120k lifeline for Newbury Corn Exchange in latest Culture Recovery Fund round

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NEWBURY'S Corn Exchange has been awarded a grant of £120,000 from the latest round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund.

More than £100m has been awarded to 925 cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the government fund, administered by Arts Council England, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The third round of funding will support organisations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.

Newbury Corn Exchange by Phil Cannings
Newbury Corn Exchange by Phil Cannings

The grant will support the arts centre with its overhead costs while it recovers from the impact of the pandemic and the reduction in earned income while audiences are slower to return to attending indoor events. It will also enable the Corn Exchange to present a digital version of its pantomime, Cinderella, to allow those who are unable to come to the theatre to watch it from the comfort of their home.

Corn Exchange director Katy Griffiths said the funding will make a significant impact this winter: "We are immensely grateful for the funding we have received via the Culture Recovery Fund. Alongside the support we’ve received directly from our local community, it has made a huge difference and means we’ve been able to continue working with artists and practitioners in order to provide inspiring creative opportunities for all ages in spite of the enormous challenges of the last 18 months.

"With our annual pantomime Cinderella currently in rehearsals and preparations for the lantern procession well under way too, it feels a timely moment to celebrate the joy that cultural engagement can bring to us all.”

Newbury Corn Exchange, picture by Phil Cannings
Newbury Corn Exchange, picture by Phil Cannings

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.’

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

Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley said that the continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health.

"It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives," he said.

Other local cultural organisations to receive funding are: Black & White Music Ltd £35,585, Cirque Berserk Limited £124,680, Henley Festival £220,346, Reading Rep £59,000 and Hampshire Cultural Trust £240,000 (which manages and supports 23 arts and museums attractions across Hampshire).

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