Bristol’s cultural organisations awarded ‘lifeline’ £6.7 million funding


By Lucas Arthur, Music Editor

Some of Bristol’s biggest cultural institutions, including Motion, Bristol Old Vic and The Watershed, have been handed an economic lifeline through the Cultural Recovery Fund, new data has revealed.

Uncovered by Save Bristol Nightlife, a group dedicated to preserving Bristol’s cultural scene throughout the pandemic, the findings show the amount of funding awarded to Bristol’s music venues, galleries and museums.

Among those mentioned, Bristol Old Vic theatre secured £610,466. The theatre, founded in 1946, lost some 75% of its income overnight at the start of lockdown, leaving it at risk of major job cuts.

The SS Great Britain Trust, which maintains the historic steamship-turned-museum, gained £888,186 - the largest sum of any organisation listed.

Legendary nightclub Motion, which regularly ranked as one of the best nightclubs in the world prior to lockdown, secured the second largest sum of £884,796. The maximum grant an organisation could receive was £3 Million.

7 of the 29 organisations listed received the lowest available grant of £50,000. Some, like Funk Productions Limited and Optimum Mastering, support the entertainment industry though secondary service means.

Others, like Acta Community Theatre, are not-for-profit organisations, who usually rely solely upon donations for financial support.

Music venues and related organisations recieved £3,309,973 of the total £6,787,741 that was granted.

Among them were venues such as The Loco Club, The Louisiana, The Fleece and the Trinity Centre, all of which have been unable to host events since the introduction of strict social distancing measures in March.

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The Culture Recovery Fund is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to ‘protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.’

The grants are intended to last the recipient until March 2021, after which ‘they can reopen, either fully or partially, or operating on a sustainable, cost-efficient basis until they are able to reopen at a later date.’

Featured Image: Katie Chalk, Epigram

Do you work at one of Bristol’s cultural organisations?