The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England has today announced further awards from its £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund: £58.9million has been awarded through the Fund’s Capital Kickstart grants programme, and over £165million has been offered through the Repayable Finance programme.
The Capital Kickstart grants will help cultural organisations across the country cover additional costs, caused by Covid-related delays or fundraising shortfalls, to their capital projects, including building works, refurbishments and large-scale equipment purchases. £159,758 has been awarded to Wolverhampton Art Gallery from the programme to help deliver a project which will help to strengthen the region’s cultural infrastructure.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery is redeveloping and improving the building including the re-location of the café, reception and retail area, improvements to the main reception and learning space, and refurbishments to increase the space for exhibitions and collections interpretation and create a digital learning suite.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “City of Wolverhampton Council is delighted to receive this funding. It comes at a key moment for the city, with the opening of British Art Show 9 in March 2021 and other cultural events taking place which will draw people into Wolverhampton. Culture forms a key part of our Covid recovery strategy, focusing on vibrant high streets and communities.”
The Repayable Finance programme will provide loans of £3million and above to some of England’s largest and most prestigious cultural organisations, helping them to weather the effects of the pandemic and reopen when it is safe to do so. These loans have been tailored specifically to be affordable for cultural organisations and are offered on generous terms with an initial repayment holiday of up to four years, a low interest rate and up to 20-year repayment term.
Today’s announcement follows several previous rounds of investment from the Culture Recovery Fund, which saw £428million distributed to over 2000 cultural organisations though the Grants programme, alongside the £3.36million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund. The financing announced today takes the total allocated from the Culture Recovery Fund over £1 billion, delivering on the government’s commitment to be here for culture in every corner of the country during this pandemic.
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “"We’re delighted to be supporting Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s redevelopment, which includes their main reception, learning and exhibition spaces. It will be a significant visitor experience upgrade.
“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.”