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Chelmsford City Theatres have been awarded £250,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.
The theatres are one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Chelmsford City Theatres are the main live cultural venue at the heart of Essex’s only city; a key destination for original productions, touring national shows and a host of community groups. The theatres have, like so many other cultural sites across the country, been closed to audiences since March.
The Culture Recovery Fund grant will ensure that despite this devastating disruption, people from across the county will still have access to inspiring local theatre in Chelmsford and the city’s growing arts scene will continue to thrive.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Chairman of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences.
“Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
Chelmsford City Council deputy leader, Cllr Marie Goldman said: “Our City Theatres have tried incredibly hard to serve our community since their doors closed in March, but it’s been a tough few months.
“The Civic Theatre celebrates its 60th birthday in 2022 and this grant gives us a chance to look forward to this special date with confidence about the future, ensuring that audiences from across the East of England will continue to have access to quality live entertainment in our city.”