Royal & Derngate and Roadmender get government cash-boost in battle to recover from Covid-19 pandemic

Money is a lifeline as arts industry bid to make up for 15 months of closure, says theatre boss

Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:42 am

Royal & Derngate theatre says its latest £435,000 government grant will be a 'lifeline' in its battle to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The money takes total government support for the Northampton venue close to £3 million to help make up for revenue lost during months of enforced closure.

Chief executive Jo Gordon revealed it will "help us to continue to rebuild, to welcome audiences, to create shows and employment opportunities for freelancers and to work with our communities."

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Northampton music venue the Roadmender will also received £44,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund as part of the latest round of grants announced by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport on Friday (November 19).

Entertainment and arts were shut down nationwide in March 2020 and were only able to re-open slowly from May this year.

Royal & Derngate received £2.1 million from the first round of grants in October and a further £435,000 in April.

Artistic director James Dacre said: "The Culture Recovery Fund awards have been a lifeline to us during this vital period of recovery as audience confidence continues to rebuild.

Royal & Derngate and Roadmender will get close to £300,000 in government Covid grants.

"This latest investment will have an impact across our organisation.

"It will help us to continue with a complex programme of maintenance works, ensuring that all our Front of House and backstage spaces are Covid-secure, and enabling further improvements to the accessibility and welcome that we can offer our disabled users and those who have been more vulnerable during the pandemic.

"The grant will also help to cover the additional expenses we incur in safely creating our Made in Northampton productions in line with Covid-related requirements.

"We are very grateful for this funding support, which will We also want to thank the people of Northamptonshire who have been supporting us and returning to attend events at the theatre and filmhouse. Without them, our local funders and our brilliant colleagues, we wouldn’t have been able to get back to our feet and be looking ahead to such a promising future.”

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has announced 925 cultural and creative organisations nationally are to receive a share of £107 million in grants and loans from the Culture Recovery Fund.

As part of this, £765,830 has been awarded to support seven Northamptonshire organisations, including Corby Cube and Warts and All Theatre, which works with young people and emerging artists in Wellingborough and Northampton.

Christopher Elmer-Gorry, artistic director and chief executive at Warts and All Theatre said: “This funding comes at a pivotal time for our organisation to be able to continue our work. These essential funds will enable us to continue engaging children and young people in co-created arts activities with their voice at the heart of the creative process.”