Suffolk theatres and arts groups gets £3m to survive lockdown

Head to the Spa Pavilion for Valentine's Day. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion was one of the big winners in the Arts Council's second Cultural Recovery Fund pay-out to help theatres survive lockdown - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s theatres and museums have received a welcome £3million lifeline from the Arts Council to help keep them afloat during the ongoing Covid crisis.

The money, drawn from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, has been spread across 31 Suffolk cultural and heritage companies and totals £3,190,196.

Among the largest recipients are: Britten-Pears Arts who received £441,865, Spa Pavilion Felixstowe which netted £572,305, Gecko physical theatre company gained £161,650, the New Wolsey Theatre landed £122,500, The Long Shop Museum gets £31,618 and Sudbury’s Gainsborough House £121,164.

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich was one of the major cultural institutions that has benefitted from the Arts Council

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich was one of the major cultural institutions that has benefitted from help from the Arts Council during lockdown - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director at Arts Council England, said: “We’ve already seen how funding has helped previous recipients to survive an unprecedented year and as the sector looks to reopen this further support will help arts organisations take the next step.”

Roger Wright outside the Snape Maltings Concert Hall. Picture: Matt Jolly

Roger Wright said that the money from the Arts Council would help fund new commissions - Credit: Archant

Roger Wright, CEO, Britten Pears Arts said: "As we continue to grapple with the impact of COVID, we are enormously grateful for ongoing support from Arts Council England, DCMS and HM Treasury. This will enable our internationally recognised and locally relevant work to carry on supporting musicians and others in the creative sector, communities with whom we work and our audiences.” 


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The funding will help Britten Pears Arts prepare for socially distanced indoor and outdoor concerts, including a new opera by Bushra El Turk and training for musicians such as an online mentoring weekend. 

Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion was the largest beneficiary in the county.

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Ray Anderson, director, Spa Pavilion said: “This latest grant will be vital as we once again prepare to re-open and put on our wide variety of shows in Felixstowe.

"It guarantees that we can look forward with confidence to what will undoubtedly be a challenging period, and we thank both the Arts Council and all of our loyal customers and ticketholders from the bottom of our hearts for their support through these most demanding and unusual of times.” 

Funding from the Cultural Recovery Grant will support Spa Pavilion with an investment in a new range of shows for 2021, from writing to rehearsals, musical arrangements, scenery building and wardrobe creation. The theatre also plans to reschedule community events where the venue is provided at a reduced or free hire cost.

The Long Shop Museum, which is an industrial museum dedicated to the history of Richard Garrett & Sons, who manufactured agricultural machinery, steam engines and trolleybuses in Leiston, will be using the funds to support the maintenance of the live steam vehicles, building repairs and making the site more Covid compliant.

Angela Leonard, Chair of Trustees at The Long Shop Museum said: "This is the best start to our delayed 2021 season that we could possibly have hoped for. It’s so much more than money, it’s confidence! These strange and difficult circumstances present us with a challenging future. The grant means that we can face this with optimism instead of trepidation. Thank you for helping to bring the Long Shop Museum back to life." 

The full list of those who received grants are:

Gainsborough's House - £121,164 
Spillers Pantomimes Ltd - £56,990 
1DegreeEast - £26,000 
Beccles Public Hall - £35,000 
Britten Pears Arts - £441,865 
East Anglia Transport Museum - £25,000 
Marina Theatre Trust - £148,961 
NEW CUT ARTS - £93,730 
Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum - £11,546 
Pro Corda Trust - £30,500 
Scenic Projects Limited - £125,000 
Southwold and Aldeburgh Theatre Ltd - £35,737 
Spa Pavilion Limited - £572,305 
Synergy Audio Ltd - £35,000 
The Long Shop Museum CIO - £31,618 
Alexander Whitley Dance Company - £86,935 
DanceEast - £34,450 
Eastern Angles Theatre Company Ltd - £35,900 
Gecko Theatre - £161,650 
New Wolsey Theatre Company Ltd - £122,500 
Out Loud Music CIC - £35,511 
Red Rose Chain - £98,211 
Ginger Owl Productions (Events) Ltd - £100,000 
Museum of East Anglian Life - £165,105 
Wango`s - £27,000 
Bury Bar Services operating as The Hunter Club - £35,385 
National Horseracing Museum - £166,562 
Noise Solution - £41,890 
Strawberries and Creem Festival - £75,000 
The Original Theatre Company - £94,000 
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds - £119,681 

Cinemas in the region are also benefitting from more than half-a-million-pounds of culture funding.


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