Cambridge Arts Theatre has received nearly £1million from the government to help face the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The theatre has been awarded £985,000 as part of the £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
Since closing its doors in March, it is estimated the Arts Theatre in St Edward’s Passage has lost over 97 per cent of its income, with 13 touring productions cancelled and thousands of audience members disappointed due to the current crisis.
The grant, which is administered through Arts Council England, will secure the theatre’s immediate future.
It will enable managers to plan its recovery and safe reopening to audiences over the coming months.
Dave Murphy, chief executive at Cambridge Arts Theatre, said: “We are incredibly relieved and grateful to receive this vital grant.
“It is however, a bittersweet moment for us because many of our loyal staff have had to leave the theatre as a result of this crisis and many in the freelance theatrical community are still really struggling.
“This grant will enable us to start rebuilding our theatre from solid foundations and to play our part in reopening our industry.
“We are all looking forward to welcoming our greatly missed audience back as soon as possible.
Founded in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes, economist and founding member of the Arts Council, Cambridge Arts Theatre has helped launch the careers of theatrical luminaries such as Ian McKellen and Sam Mendes, and celebrated many significant cultural milestones, from Margot Fonteyn dancing her first Swan Lake to Harold Pinter’s premiere of The Birthday Party.
Ian Mather, chairman of Cambridge Arts Theatre Trust, added: “Cambridge Arts Theatre occupies a very special place in the hearts of many in Cambridgeshire.
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“This award gives us a vital lifeline and will help our amazing team at the theatre to get our doors open again as soon as possible.”
Cambridge Arts Theatre is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced in the second tranche of funding.
This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the month to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the MP for Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, said: “This is more vital funding to protect the culture gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back.
“Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time.
“Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.
“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
The Cultural Recovery Fund forms part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s #HereForCulture campaign to protect jobs, restart performances and create work for freelancers.