Warwick Arts Centre has been awarded £483,000 by the UK government as part of the Culture Recovery Fund.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the investment is a “vital boost” for “cultural beacons”.
The Culture Recovery Fund is a package of £1.57 billion, intended by the government to offer financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but were at imminent risk of failure due to the loss of revenue.
The Arts Centre was one of 18 art organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire to receive a total of £4.31 million. Other beneficiaries include the Belgrade Theatre, Compton Verney and My Runway Group, a creative multi-platform experience representing youth culture.
Doreen Foster, director of the Arts Centre, said: “As we continue to prepare for Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, it is wonderful to be able to talk about what we are going to do rather than what we can’t do.
“The Culture Recovery Fund support has changed the conversation. We have been closed and silent for six months but the CRF means we can start to rekindle our relationships with our friends and patrons, reach out to new audiences and start to bring the Warwick Arts Centre to life again as we look forward with hope to an exciting 2021.”
A ‘testbed season will enable audiences to sample the Art Centre’s programme ahead of a grand re-opening in Summer 2021.
We have been closed and silent for six months but the Cultural Recovery Fund means we can start to rekindle our relationships with our friends and patrons, reach out to new audiences and start to bring the Warwick Arts Centre to life again
– Doreen Foster
It will re-open with a new building, a new gallery, three cinema screens and a new foyer and restaurant.
Every week from January to March 2021, the centre will present socially-distanced artforms in either the Theatre or the Butterworth Hall.
Chenine Bathena, creative director of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, said: “The funding announced today will provide a lifeline to some of the country’s most innovative and essential cultural organisations, providing vital support to the delicate ecosystem of arts and culture across the country.
“While this gives some a much-needed breathing space, we must now redouble all our efforts to ensure a sustainable future.
“The challenge as we move forward is to continue to create meaningful and exciting cultural experiences, protect the livelihoods of our talented workforce, and most importantly to demonstrate the need for and impact of culture in our communities. Culture isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s the bedrock of our society.”