Courtyard receive Cultural Capital Kickstarter grant
The Courtyard Hereford has been awarded a £210,380 Capital Kickstart grant as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund enabling the organisation to push forward with Transform The Yard despite the financial challenge caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
The Courtyard is one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart grants programme helps cultural organisations cover additional costs to capital projects caused by pandemic-related delays or fundraising shortfalls, such as building works, refurbishments, and large-scale equipment.
The Courtyard has recently come to the end of its capital expansion project ‘Transform The Yard’. The extension of the building will to strengthen the region’s cultural infrastructure and enable further income generation to support community initiatives and future-proof the Arts Centre.
The grant will help The Courtyard complete the project and make necessary improvements to its new and existing spaces, including fitting out its brand-new shop and Café Bar areas. It will also enable the installation of a new air conditioning unit in the Garrick Room keeping it ventilated through the pandemic and cool in the summer months.
“The Courtyard is delighted to be a recipient of Arts Council England’s Kickstart Capital fund.” said Ian Archer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director. “This incredible boost to our capital development will ensure that The Courtyard is in a better position to provide further opportunities for our 400 strong Youth Theatre. It will also enable us to enhance our work with schools and expand our education and outreach programmes. The additional space that has been created at The Courtyard will enable us to increase, strengthen and build on our strong relationships with our community and also provide a platform to develop the immense talent we have throughout Herefordshire.”
Today DCMS also announces that £165 million from the Culture Recovery Fund has been offered in repayable loans to help 11 major cultural organisations survive the loss of income caused by the crisis. This follows previous rounds of the Culture Recovery Fund, including the Grants programme which distributed £428 million to over 2,000 cultural organisations across the country, and the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting The Courtyard as their newly refurbished front of house will become more accessible and will provide a commercial outlet for local artists. In addition, the grant will create more space for an increased course and workshop programme.
“Our Capital Grants programme provides organisations with vital funding to ensure they have the right buildings and equipment to help them become more sustainable and innovative places, as they deliver exciting work to the public. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increasing costs and time delays to many projects, so we’re delighted to offer additional funding to make sure these projects are completed, re-opened and of benefit to all.”
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word. The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications. Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture – so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”