Oxford Playhouse has been awarded a grant of £1,056,596 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover, rebuild, and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, including Oxford Playhouse, in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund announced by the Culture secretary Oliver Dowden MP this week. Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

With the help of this grant, Oxford Playhouse should be able to reopen safely on 28 May 2021 with the launch of the UK tour of the critically acclaimed Blindness, produced by the Donmar Warehouse. 

Louise Chantal and Vanessa Lefrancois, Joint CEO/Directors Oxford Playhouse commented:

“We are thrilled and incredibly thankful to receive this significant grant from the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund.  The last year has been unparalleled in terms of the challenges the arts sector has faced.  At Oxford Playhouse we have been determined to stay connected with audiences and participants.  We have also reflected [on] and refined our strategy for moving forward to allow us to build back stronger.  This grant is testament to the amazing work that the organisation and staff team have delivered not just through our artistic programme, but by the hugely valuable work delivered through our Playhouse Communities and Playhouse Artists strands of work.

As we move forward, we are confident that Oxford Playhouse is in a strong position to recover, to remain resilient, and to support the recovery of the cultural sector.  We can’t wait to welcome audiences back to our Main House and Studio Theatre as well as outdoors this summer and online. “

Arts Council England, the national development agency for creativity and culture, developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package in cooperation with the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Nearly 90% of this fund came from the National Lottery, providing for organisations and individuals needing support. Its Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, commented:

Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.  

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Gaia Clark Nevola

Gaia Clark Nevola (she/ they) was the Senior Editor for Culture from June 2020 to March 2021 and is now the paper's welfare officer and a member of the board. She is in her second year studying English at St. Catz where they are also LGBTQ+ welfare rep. Gaia is the Bi Rep on the SU LGBTQ+ Campaign committee and sometimes does costumes for student theatre. She is the proud owner of a questionable mullet and enjoys telling people that she's actually half Italian, as though that constitutes having...