The Point and Live Lounge join other major Sunderland venues and arts groups given further funding boost by Government's Culture Recovery Fund

Sunderland’s cultural landscape has been given a further boost thanks to a lifeline fund set up to help venues and groups recover from the devastation of the pandemic.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 9:27 am

Today, November 19, the Government has announced a third wave of recipients in its Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Nationally, 925 cultural and creative organisations are to receive a share of £107million in grants and loans as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s unprecedented fund.

In Sunderland, four organisations will share a further £416,450 boost to help in their reopening and recovery, after receiving initial amounts in previous rounds.

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Sunderland venues are to benefit from a further wave of CRF funding

The largest share, amounting to £143,000, has been awarded to Sunderland Culture who run the city’s major venues such as the Museum & Winter Gardens, The Fire Station and Arts Centre Washington.

The Point, one of the largest multi-purpose venues in the area, which is operated by Boardwalk Leisure Ltd, has been awarded £126,051.

Meanwhile, Silksworth-based Innovation Power Ltd, who provide temporary power for huge festivals and events, has been awarded £115,549 and Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC, based at The Fire Station, has been granted £31,850.

Rebecca Ball, chief executive of Sunderland Culture, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The Point is back open for events following a refurbishment. Andy Golding, operations director with his staff.

"This vital and timely investment will ensure that we are still able to build our new team to present The Fire Station’s opening programme in December. We can’t wait to welcome people to The Fire Station and our sincere thanks to Arts Council England and DCMS."

Andy Golding, operations director at Boardwalk Leisure, said: “Due to COVID there is still uncertainty in the air, the future of many city centre businesses are still at risk.

"We have been impacted by COVID since March 2020 and are definitely not out of the woods yet, we have experienced that events and gigs are very hit and miss with the general expected footfall down by 40 percent.

"This adds extra pressure in making business decisions and strategising recovery plans in response to a very difficult trading environment. "This CRF shall assist us through until next year and we are very grateful for such financial support.”

The Fire Station, operated by Sunderland Culture, will open its new auditorium on December 10

The national fund includes more than £100 million which has been awarded in grants through Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute aimed at keeping theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations and local venues afloat.

Arts Council England has been working on two funding programmes for this third round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund: Continuity Support and Emergency Resource Support.

In addition to this, organisations across the country have been awarded grants from the Emergency Resource Support strand of funding, with more applications undergoing assessment over the coming weeks.

Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

Sunderland Fire Station Auditorium new sign as works continue.

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

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