Nearly £1m for CFT as West Sussex arts organisations share recovery funding

Chichester Festival Theatre is to receive nearly a million pounds as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Chichester Festival Theatre's Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan
Chichester Festival Theatre's Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan

Pallant House Gallery, Worthing Theatres and Museum, Shoreham’s Ropetackle, Chequer Mead Arts and Community Trust, the Arundel-based Hanover Band Foundation and West Sussex Music Trust will also benefit.

The share was announced on Good Friday by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, with more than 2,700 cultural and creative organisations enjoying a slice of the second round of funding.

In all, it adds up to a £2.9 million boost for 20 organisations across West Sussex, funding which will support theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations and local venues to reopen and recover.

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    Ropetackle Chairman Martin Allen

    The breakdown is: Ropetackle Centre Trust £28,000; Technical Solutions Audio Visual Limited £80,500; The Noise Next Door LTD £47,919; The Hanover Band Foundation £75,000; Chichester Festival Theatre £953,264; Lila Dance £26,136; Outside In £95,000; Pallant House Gallery £128,470; TSL Lighting Ltd £370,908; BMG Live Ltd £27,000; The 99 Club Limited £50,000; West Sussex Music Trust £535,845; Annephen Ltd £28,193; Chequer Mead Arts and Community Trust £73,525; Atom Promotions (Worthing) £27,838; DZA Technical Ltd £209,363; KP Projects CIC £30,690; The JMK Trust £25,000; Worthing Theatres and Museum £98,398; and Wowbagger Productions £20,000.

    The funding acknowledges Chichester Festival Theatre’s work producing a diverse range of dramas, musicals and new commissions with these often transferring to the West End, nationally and internationally.

    Through digital and streaming developments in 2020, the theatre has expanded its global reach to 52 countries. The Culture Recovery Grant funding will enable them to build up the scale of activities through reprogramming 2020 postponed shows and re-establishing LEAP’s community partnerships (the learning and education department) to “reduce barriers and broaden reach and online output.”

    Kathy Bourne, CFT executive director, said: “Our Culture Recovery Fund grant is the best possible news, and testimony to the dedication of our staff throughout this very challenging year.” Daniel Evans, CFT artistic director, added: “We’re extremely grateful to the DCMS and the Arts Council, and enormously buoyed by this vital boost to our resources. This generous grant will enable to us to reopen our theatre with confidence and deliver Festival and Winter seasons, offering the production quality that our audiences expect, support freelance artists, maintain our commitment to inclusivity and our work with the community.”

    The Hanover Band

    Hugh Bonneville, who appeared at Chichester Festival Theatre as C S Lewis in Shadowlands in 2019, said: “Underlying the UK’s international film and TV success is the best of British theatre. So I am particularly delighted that Chichester Festival Theatre, my local theatre, is being supported so generously by the Culture Recovery Fund. The grant will enable it to reopen its doors with confidence, renew the relationship with its audience and take its place once again at the heart of its vibrant community.”

    Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

    “Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

    Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director at Arts Council England said: “Thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, we can offer extra support to the arts and cultural sector in the South East. From youth ballet to opera, theatre to grassroots music, the South East is brimming with cultural organisations that enrich the lives of local communities. This funding will make a real difference to these organisations as they get ready to welcome audiences and visitors again.”

    Stephen Fewell, Chair, JMK Trust, said: “'Emerging freelance theatre directors have been hit harder than most by theatre closure during lockdown, and this funding will enable us to kick start the career of one outstanding early career theatre artist this year. The future of the industry will significantly rely on the energy and capability of these directors, and the funding will ensure that this can happen safely, and with appropriate training. It is a shot in the arm towards the future of the industry, as well as the JMK Trust.”

    Today’s announcement brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural organisations and sites.

    The second round of awards made today will help organisations across the country as they welcome back visitors and return to normal operating models in the months ahead.