Suffolk's cultural heritage to receive over £500,000 in Government funding

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough's House Picture: GREGG BROWN

Gainsborough's House is set to receive thousands from the Government - Credit: Gregg Brown

A number of Suffolk's cultural venues are set to receive over £500,000 to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England has  announced further recipients of  its £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The Capital Kickstart grants will help cultural organisations across the country cover additional costs, caused by Covid-related delays or fundraising shortfalls, to their capital projects, including building works, refurbishments and large-scale equipment purchases.

In total, £503,474 will be split between between three different organisations in Suffolk. 

Gainsborough's House, the childhood home of Thomas Gainsborough in Sudbury, will receive £28,822 

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Funding will enable it to continue upgrading its print workshop.

Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough's House said: "The workshop, where work is created by professional artist and beginners alike, puts creativity at the heart of Gainsborough’s House.

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"We are enormously grateful for the grant, which will have such a positive impact for a so many people."

The Gecko Theatre which is set to move into a new space in Ipswich will receive the biggest share of the funding with £247,152.

The money will go towards the development of the Gecko Creation Space, which will facilitate the creation of world-class new work and essential training opportunities.

Steve Allman, Head of Operations and Development, Gecko Theatre, said: “This exceptional award from ACE allows us to reflect on collective learning of the current pandemic and build towards a better future.

"Design changes will ensure the Creation Space is virus secure and the introduction of a flexible design will allow multiple organisations and our local community to use the building simultaneously and, if required, in isolation from each other.

"To have a resource that not only transforms the way Gecko creates work and interacts with our local community, but can also be adapted to allow other artists to create work here safely, is very exciting.”

The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, basking in the summer sunshine Photo: Lucy Taylor

The New Wolsey Theatre is set to receive thousands to help complete its work

Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre will receive £227,500 to help it complete the fit out of The Spiral and the refurbishment of the front of house area. 

Sarah Holmes, New Wolsey Theatre CEO, said: "We're extremely grateful for the investment, which will allow us to complete an ambitious transformation of the public areas of the theatre and 'Theatre Square', which includes our new extraordinary new participation space NW2.”

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