17th Apr, 2021

Arts groups celebrate latest rescue payout

Rob George 7th Apr, 2021

CULTURE and heritage organisations across Worcester and Malvern are celebrating a £2.1million payday as they prepare to emerge from the Coronavirus shutdown.

They won the lion’s share of the £2.8million given to Worcestershire in the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund set up to support theatres, galleries, museums, performance groups, arts organisations and local venues facing the challenges of the pandemic.

Malvern Theatres, Paradiddles, Worcester, Dancefest, the English Symphony Orchestra, Museums Worcestershire and the Museum of Royal Worcester are among those sharing the cash.

Theatre chiefs have been cheered after it was handed £328,120 to help the much-loved Malvern venue re-open after the pandemic.

The complex is also dedicated to training the next generation of theatre professionals, offering drama classes, trainee placements, and running its own celebrated Young Company. Funding will see the reopening of the theatre with live performances, a classical music concert, an in-house drama production, as well as the cinema programme.

Worcester Live was handed £122,000 to support cultural activity, continue work with the Youth Theatre and host outreach projects tackling loneliness, as well as working towards reopening Huntingdon Hall.

Paradiddles was handed £25,000 to enable them to re-start live performances at the earliest opportunity, ensuring payment to artists, promoters and staff while making improvements to their outside space, including investing in heaters, covers and drainage, to allow for all-weather performances.

Also celebrating a £25,000 cash boost are Dancefest, the community dance organisation which works people of all ages in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Dancefest will be using its grant to get and keep people dancing, whether that’s live, on film or via Zoom. Through taster sessions, summer projects and training, the organisation will be focussing on re-establishing much of its programme, plus providing new opportunities to take part.

Artistic director, Rose Beeston said: “Dancefest has continued to work online throughout the pandemic, but with only a fraction of our normal programme. We are very pleased to receive this investment, which, if all goes well with the recovery roadmap, will see us return to working with people of all ages in many different settings.”

Worcester’s MP Robin Walker said: “It’s really important organisations like Worcester Live, Worcester Cathedral, the English Symphony Orchestra, and all the other great local organisations that make up the fabric of our area continue to thrive after this pandemic.”

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