£23m for communities' cultural rebuild

Cultural organisations across England will share £22.7m from the Arts Council’s Cultural Investment Programme to help them reset and prepare for development after the Covid lockdowns.

The programme, part of ACE’s 2021-24 delivery plan, is aimed at mostly small and medium sized libraries, museums and galleries serving local communities.

Grants worth between £100,000 and £750,000 will go to 66 recipients for projects ranging from improvements for environmental sustainability to installing a theatre ventilation system to making music venues more accessible to developing a centre for teaching printmaking.

Shabang! Inclusive Learning (pictured) in Kirklees, for instance, has £107,000 to build a new theatre, while the National Centre for Writing has £131,545 to create a new frontage for its Norwich building to improve access and engagement; in Hastings Project Art Works, which intersects art and social care, gets £750,000 to create studio space; and the Scilly Isles also gets £750,000 to transform St Mary’s town hall into a museum.

ACE has worked with local authorities to identify the right recipients for projects that would, in the words of ACE’s CEO Darren Henley, “make a tangible difference to their communities”.

For the first time, he said, applicants were asked to show how their grants would be used to meet the four criteria of the programme: environmental responsibility, diversity, quality and dynamism.

“World class creativity and culture needs a resilient and sustainable infrastructure to allow it to flourish” he said. “With these investments in the buildings, equipment and digital systems of cultural organisations across England, we are helping to secure the future of that infrastructure, and making sure that people from every part of the country can continue enjoying all the benefits it delivers for years to come.”


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