Hull Truck Theatre have been successful in their application to secure funding as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) initiative.
The funding will support the theatre until the end of the financial year – March 2021.
It will enable the theatre to make the necessary changes to the building to adhere to Covid-19 government safety guidelines. It will also enable the creative team to curate and present a new programme of work for audiences in the new year, which in turn will create work opportunities for freelancers who have had little or no work during the pandemic. It will also allow the theatre to continue its valued work in the community and with young people.
Having recently received the “We’re Good To Go” accreditation from VisitBritain, the theatre will soon be reopening to audiences with a reduced Autumn/ Winter programme with the necessary social distancing measures in place. Operating at a 27% capacity, Hull Truck Theatre reopens on 12 November with Hull Jazz Festival.
Janthi Mills-Ward, Executive Director and Mark Babych Artistic Director at Hull Truck Theatre, said: “Hull Truck Theatre is incredibly grateful to both DCMS and Arts Council England to have received emergency funding from the Cultural Recovery Grant. This funding will allow us to realign our plans for the coming months in light of the current public health crisis. Our building has been closed since March due to government guidelines and we’re delighted that we’ll be welcoming audiences back imminently.
“We’re primarily going to use the grant to support adapting our building and processes accordingly and creating a new programme of work that is possible with a socially distanced audience. This work will not only be pivotal in lifting the spirits of our audiences, it will also utilise the creativity of our core staff who have been on furlough and provide much needed work for our network of freelance artists who have been out of work for several months. In addition, we’re going to be further looking into digital integration and how to build this into our work going forward.
“We will continue to work with partner organisations in the city to rebuild the cultural architecture of the place we call home. Whilst mindful of friends and colleagues whose applications were unsuccessful, we are pleased to hear that Middle Child, Artlink, East Riding Theatre and NAPA will also be receiving funding from the Cultural Renewal Fund, and we are hopeful that other key organisations in the city will be in future rounds.
“It’s a long road ahead for everyone in the arts and culture sector and we’re still going to face many challenges in the months ahead, but we’re feeling hopeful for the future and thankful that this grant will enable us to do what we do best – creating exceptional theatre in a welcoming and safe space.”
Alan Dix, Chair of the Board Hull Truck Theatre, said: “Being awarded a Culture Recovery Fund grant represents how hard the staff and Board of Hull Truck have been working to make sure the company remains a treasured and vital part of Hull’s cultural life. This very welcome award from DCMS and the Arts Council will stabilise the company into 2021 and provide us with the breathing space to prepare for an exciting post Covid-19 future.”
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. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”
As part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England, £257 million have been awarded to a total of 1385 creative organisations across the UK/England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
[Emma Lightowler – Hull Truck Theatre]