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£1.3 million lifeline for cultural organisations in Plymouth

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England has today announced further awards from its £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund with £58.9 million awarded through the Fund’s Capital Kickstart grants programme.

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. A total of £11.4 million has been awarded to seven organisations in the south west from the Government’s programme to help deliver a number of projects which will help to strengthen the region’s cultural infrastructure – including two in Plymouth.

Real Ideas Organisation will receive £394,135 of funding towards the Market Hall. This innovative creative development will connect local communities with new creative enterprises, help to develop future facing skills and jobs, and will feature a 15 metre diameter 210 degree immersive dome – the first of its kind in Europe.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said:

“We are really pleased to announce seven awards from the Culture Recovery Fund: Capital Kickstart across the South West today. This latest tranche of funding to be announced from the Government’s generous package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector ensures that many of the regions ambitious and ongoing cultural developments - that have been delayed due to Covid-19 - can now securely get back on track to reopening and serving their communities with fantastic cultural experiences.”

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive, Real Ideas Organisation said:
“We have all been holding our breath and are completely delighted that Arts Council England have awarded us a Cultural Capital Kickstart grant to cover the unavoidable, additional costs caused by Covid.

“The Market Hall Immersive Centre and Dome is so close to completion and this award means we can press ahead, open on time and do everything possible to contribute to recovery.

“Immersive and creative technologies have a huge role to play in realising our collective aspiration to create a fairer, greener Plymouth. Thank you Arts Council – we couldn’t do it without you.”

Wayne Hemingway, collaborator on the Market Hall project said:
“Giving a new forward facing creative use to Devonport’s historic, totally beautiful Market Hall is a wonderful demonstration that the UK is serious about re-using iconic buildings and serious about supporting and investing in our creative industries and that they are vital to our economic recovery. Market Hall is once again about to be one of Plymouth’s public jewels.”

Today’s announcement follows several previous rounds of investment from the Culture Recovery Fund, which saw £428 million distributed to over 2000 cultural organisations though the Grants programme, alongside the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund. The financing announced today takes the total allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund over £1 billion, delivering on the government’s commitment to be here for culture in every corner of the country during this pandemic.

The Capital Kickstart grants programme is part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. The grants are designed to help recipients accelerate previously-funded projects to revitalise core assets in local communities and provide opportunities for work across a range of sectors.

In total, Plymouth has received more than £1 million from the Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund for two projects, bringing the total investment from the Cultural Recovery Fund in Plymouth to £4,986,492 which is supporting 14 projects.

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