Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed new financial support for the Clacton constituency’s valuable heritage and cultural sites.
This funding has come from the Government’s £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF), which was set up to ensure that our much loved performing arts venues, heritage sites, independent cinemas, music venues, and museums can withstand the impact of coronavirus and come back even stronger.
The heritage focus of the CRF is administered by experts, Historic England, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and aims to support organisations across the heritage ecosystem, thereby protecting the local and national treasures that have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic. A raft of famous sites across the country will be supported.
On 9th October, the first round of CRF heritage funding, worth more than £67m, was shared out amongst 433 successful applicants to help with key repair and maintenance work, and to help sites operate and recover. Locally, Naze Tower (£32,800) and St Osyth Priory and Parish Trust (£75,400) were successful in applying to the fund.
The CRF also focuses on supporting cultural and creative attractions, through a grants programme that is administered by Arts Council England. This funding will help performances restart, venues to plan for reopening, protect jobs, and create opportunities for freelancers. Aimed at organisations with key national and local significance, the funding will also boost iconic venues known around the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, and Liverpool’s Cavern Club, as well as hundreds of smaller organisations at the heart of communities across the country.
On 12th October, the first set of successful CRF cultural funding applicants, who sought grants under £1m, were announced. In total, 1,385 cultural and creative organisations benefited, and £257m was invested across the country. In the Clacton constituency, the Westcliff Theatre (£110,000) and Frinton Summer Theatre (£68,000) received funding.
Further rounds of CRF funding for both cultural and heritage focuses, which will be worth millions of pounds, are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Speaking about the funding, Giles said:
“These attractions are a major part of our heritage within the Clacton constituency, and indeed the country as a whole. Having lobbied the Government for the creation of the Cultural Recovery Fund, I am thrilled that this money is now being delivered locally to help our heritage sites and cultural attractions weather the storm and be there for future generations to enjoy. Additional funding will also be distributed in the coming months.
“As we get through this unprecedented pandemic, these local assets, and the tremendous work done there, can undoubtedly play a part in our recovery. They are a key part of our tourism offer in Tendring, and I thank for Government for this financial support, which will ensure that the jobs and economic contribution they provide will be protected.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.
“This funding is also 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.”
Chair 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.”