- Utopia Theatre among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
- This award will allow Utopia to develop its digital content, continue to support it’s community and begin to prepare to return to physical theatre spaces
Sheffield based Utopia Theatre received a grant of £34,817 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including Utopia Theatre in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.
Utopia Theatre prides itself on being a leading voice in African Theatre, particularly in the digital space. Over the past year, as a response to the COVID-19 restrictions, Utopia quickly moved its work online. The grant received from the Culture Recovery Fund grant will allow the organisation to expand this digital work as well as integrate it with Utopia’s work in physical theatre spaces. This will all work towards the goal of further connecting with their community and creatives to continue to create high quality African Theatre.
Mojisola Elufowoju, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Utopia Theatre said:
“We are delighted, relieved and extremely grateful. I’d like to express sincere gratitude to the Chancellor and HM Treasury, the Culture Secretary and DCMS, Arts Council England and the countless others who have played a role in securing this vital lifeline for our industry.
The Culture Recovery Fund is securing the future of Utopia Theatre, helping us through these challenging times and ensuring that we can continue engaging with diverse theatre makers, communities and participants in the short to medium term and for years to come. This support means that we can keep theatre alive and nourish our communities while we navigate our way through the pandemic.”
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.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“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.