Sunderland's Independent club awarded £91,000 of Government's Culture Recovery Fund

The owners of a cornerstone of Sunderland’s music scene are hoping its future is secure thanks to a cash boost from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 1:54 pm

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Independent in Holmeside, Sunderland.
Independent in Holmeside, Sunderland.

Independent, in Holmeside, has played a huge role in the city’s music scene since the mid-2000s, from fostering new talent to bringing big names to the city and introducing people to a range of music genres.

It was closed for more than six months due to lockdown and was only able to recently resume gigs recently with a performance from home-grown band Picnic.

Now, it has been awarded £91,000 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 Culture Secretary has announced today.

Ben Wall.

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Independent is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today 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.

Ben Wall, from Independent, said: “It's a massive relief for everyone at Independent that our future is now secure, but we really need to highlight the support we received from The Music Venue Trust who have been unwavering in their fight for us and other grassroots venues throughout the UK.”

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.”

Chair, 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."

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