Wellingborough's Castle Theatre recovery boost with share of £620,000 culture cash

The theatre's parent company Parkwood Theatres has received £620,000

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 10:24 am
The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough - file picture

Wellingborough's Castle Theatre is to benefit from a cash injection after its parent company received a boost from the latest round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

Parkwood Theatres who manage the theatre has been awarded £620,000, part of which will go towards the 503-seater venue and performing arts complex.

More than 2,700 recipients are to benefit from the second round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund and it will ensure financial stability for the theatre as it moves out of lockdown.

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Tony Doherty, managing director for Parkwood Theatres, said: “This award which will be shared between all Parkwood-run theatres is essential in allowing us to now focus on bringing all of our stages back to life.

"We are pleased that the Arts Council has recognised the importance and success of our operations, and are willing to support us in our quest to continue to provide a great range of cultural opportunities in the towns and regions our theatres serve.”

Sharing the £620,000 grant will be Parkwood Theatres' other venues: The Hawth in Crawley, The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone and The Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare.

The Castle Theatre opened in 1995 as a community resource organisation on the site of Wellingborough's Old Cattle Market and has a main house theatre with 503 seats.

A spokesman for Parkwood Theatres said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has had a particularly profound effect on the arts industries and this funding will provide the financial support required to offset the essential costs as the theatre transitions back to true operating capacity.

"Importantly, it will mean Castle Theatre can retain the remaining highly-skilled arts workforce to open the theatre safely and start the recovery."

More than £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the pandemic.

The second round of awards will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for re-opening and recovery.

After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

"Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

Sir Nicholas Serota, chairman of Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

"These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

"We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute