Cultural venues in England to get £15m boost in new round of Government funding

Arts and cultural venues across England are set to benefit from a £15 million boost in funding from the Government.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that applicants can bid to share a pot of £15.2 million as part of the fourth round of the Cultural Development Fund.

The fund was established in 2019 to offer investment in the country’s cultural organisations and level up access to the arts, heritage and culture.

This year’s round of funding will be the first time since 2019 that projects in London are also able to apply.

According to the DCMS 20 existing projects up and down the country have benefited from £76.8 million of funding since 2019.

Charity Arts Council England, an executive non-departmental public body which is sponsored by the DCMS, delivers the funding on behalf of the department.

In round one of the fund, Plymouth City Council received £3.8 million, while the University of Kent was awarded £4.8 million for buildings in Medway, Purfleet and Thurrock to be redeveloped and used for creative purposes by the community.

Middlesbrough Council Cultural Services was awarded £4.3 million in round two to help deliver a package of construction projects to make public area Centre Square into a hub of creativity.

The £2.7 million awarded to Morecambe Winter Gardens in round three will regenerate a Grade II listed site and the £3 million given to North Devon Council will refurbish two Grade II listed buildings in Barnstaple to create an accessible learning and performance venue in Bridge Chambers, alongside a co-working, office and studio space.

Arts and heritage minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “I’ve been pleased to see how Government investment through the Cultural Development Fund is already making a real difference to people’s lives.

Royal visit to Morecambe and Lancashire
The Prince of Wales during a visit to the Winter Gardens in Morecambe, Lancashire, to view the extensive restoration works and mark its 125th anniversary (Peter Byrne/PA)

“The further funding announced today will extend our work to level up access to arts and culture, ensuring that everyone has high-quality opportunities on their doorstep, no matter where they live.

“The Cultural Development Fund brings the transformative power of creativity and culture to more people in more places, across the country.

“I encourage applicants to put forward ambitious proposals which will make a real difference to the lives of even more people across the country, and help to preserve the UK’s position on the world stage as a cultural and creative powerhouse.”

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “By investing in the infrastructure that cultural organisations need, we can help them make an even bigger impact on the places where they’re based, benefiting the communities they work with.

“We’re pleased to continue delivering it on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, building on the successes of the programme so far.”