Friday, 16 October 2020 01:31

£1.2m aid for five arts and culture groups in Wiltshire Featured

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Five arts and culture groups across Wiltshire get share of £1.2m cash boost from the government.

The five groups receiving a shared pool of £1,208,023 are the Pound Arts Trust in Corsham, Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, WOMAD Ltd and Wiltshire Creative and Chalke Valley History Festivals in Salisbury.

The cash comes as part of a £337m boost awarded to 172 arts and culture groups across the region.

Wiltshire Music Centre’s artistic director, James Slatter said: “We are delighted to receive this critical financial support which will be instrumental to enabling us to respond positively and creatively to challenges of Covid-19 over the next six months.

“We are excited to launch our new Livestream concert series and provide digital participation opportunities, alongside activities here at the Centre, to make music more accessible across our rural county and beyond.

“We can also now confidently continue to deliver vital community projects such as our Zone Club for young learning disabled adults and Celebrating Age Wiltshire, supporting the wellbeing of our most vulnerable communities at this incredibly challenging time.”

Sebastian Warrack, executive director of Wiltshire Creative, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our application to the Culture Recovery Fund has been successful.

“This will enable Wiltshire Creative to plan with greater confidence, to ensure our organisation is Covid safe and to be open, welcoming back and serving our community.”

The funding is part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund which aims to help arts and culture organisations facing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michelle Donelan MP, who has campaigned for more local arts money for the local arts to help them survive the impact of the pandemic, said: “Our local arts sector is a vital part of our community and economy. We have a rich history of Wiltshire-based creatives going off and sharing their talents with the world and it is through local organisations like the Pound Arts Trust and the Wiltshire Music Centre that many get their first taste for the arts.

“I have campaigned hard for more money for our local arts because it is absolutely vital that we do not allow coronavirus to claim our beloved cultural institutions.”

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 - from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.

“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.”

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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