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Culture Recovery Fund

Stoke on Trent Repertory Theatre receive £39,780 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Stoke on Trent Repertory Theatre are 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 enable the theatre to commence reopening procedures during April and May 2021 after 12 months of closure. It provides the funding to purchase services and equipment to ensure that when the Theatre does reopen it is Covid secure and as safe as possible providing audiences with the confidence to return and enjoy Live Theatre again

The Rep on Leek Road, Shelton has received a grant of £39,780 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 the Stoke on Trent Repertory Theatre (The Rep) in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Rep is a Limited Company with charitable status. It is operated and staffed by volunteers and receives no annual funding or grants from National Arts bodies or the City Council. It is self-sustaining through hiring its facilities and expertise to local Dance Schools, Drama Groups, Musical Theatre and Operatic Companies, Professional Classical Piano Recitals and Professional One Night Concerts. It continues to be the home of its own amateur theatre company, The Stoke on Trent Repertory Players, and 2021 marks the Centenary of this group of dedicated performers. The Theatre is available for short term hire by Visiting Companies when not required by the Repertory Players for their season of five main plays. The season runs from July to June and on average there are approximately thirty six weeks during the season when the theatre is available for hire.

 The Theatre closed it doors on March 16th 2020 and the closure saw its sources of Income immediately disappear. Since closure to date the theatre has lost approx. £134,000 of income revenue whilst monthly overheads have totalled approx. £55,000. The Theatre has been extremely thankful to receive Government grants through the City Council for permanent closure to the total of approx. £40,000 which has helped greatly to meet the monthly ongoing overheads.

 From September 2021 to June 2022 the theatre is fully booked with a variety of cultural genres. Very few spaces exist for the following season from July 2022 to June 2023. This grant from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable us to prepare for the busy Autumn schedule with Health & Safety for all the highest priority.

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 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.”

 Malcolm Rushton, Planning Director at The Rep, said:

 “The last twelve months has been a very difficult period for many different reasons for everyone trying to keep their businesses and livelihoods viable in order to function once again when some form of normality returns. The cultural sector has suffered more than most because of the nature of the virus, the settings in which the sector operates and the restrictions needed to control infection.

 Many cultural groups in the City have been struggling but also determined to survive during the last twelve months by using modern technologies to maintain contacts with their members and prepare for the future. Their perseverance and patience has produced a desire and longing to return to the theatre and once again perform to audiences who have also missed ‘Live Theatre’ for so long.

 Because of this funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Rep can now prepare for performers returning to the stage and the audiences to the theatre and ensure a welcoming and safe environment to support a variety of cultural activities within the City, the County and Nationally. The Rep will be ready and waiting and will bounce back stronger than before.”

 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 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.