Politics

Ronnie Scott’s and the Lowry receive slice of England’s Covid-19 funding


Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and the Lowry in Salford are among eight cultural organisations and venues that will benefit from the government’s latest round of coronavirus funding.

The venue operator Academy Music Group, the Marlowe theatre in Canterbury and the London Venue Group, which is led by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, will all receive emergency funding.

More than £18m will be distributed to the eight bodies as part of a second round of grants between £1m and £3m.

It is the latest tranche of money to be distributed from the government’s £1.57bn culture recovery fund.

Ronnie Scott’s will receive £1,272,631 to explore streamed performance opportunities for emerging and established British musicians. The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex, will receive £3m to cover continuing costs incurred during the pandemic.

The London Venue Group is given £2,358,902 to maintain its venues, which include Omeara, the Social and Lafayette, during closure and explore streaming options.

The money is being distributed by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

More than £9m has been allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the DCMS.

In addition, £5m will go to construction and maintenance projects that have been paused because of the pandemic.

St Paul’s Cathedral, which usually relies on visitors for 90% of its annual income, will be given £2,125,000, while Durham Cathedral will receive £1,935,000.

Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, will receive £1,896,000 for extensive repairs and updates to exhibition areas for visitors when it is safe to reopen.

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The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.

“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to the Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, the chairman of Arts Council England, said: “Culture makes a huge and increasing contribution to our national life, bringing communities together, fuelling our creative industries and representing our country on the world stage.

“These grants add to those announced last month and will put these organisations in a better position to bounce back and help their communities recover from this crisis.”

Duncan Wilson, the chief executive of Historic England, said: “This funding is a lifeline which is kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning.

“Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”

The government said 70% of the latest funding had been awarded outside London.



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