By Jacob Paul
Independent Cinemas, theatres, museums and music charities across South London have received almost £20million from the Government to help keep businesses alive as lockdown restrictions ease.
They are among more than 2,700 organisations in Arts Council England’s £1.57million Culture Recovery Fund in the second round of funding provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The grants will help 192 cultural organisations across Wandsworth, Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Greenwich, Merton, Croydon, and Bromley prepare for reopening after lockdown.
More than £2million has also been given to 14 independent cinemas.
Archlight Cinema, Battersea, will receive £200,000, Catford Mews, Catford nearly £270,000 and Peckhemplex, Peckham almost £60,000, to be administered by the British Film Institute on behalf of the DCMS.
The Midi Music Company, Deptford, is a music charity that puts on after-school programmes, short courses, music business seminars, events and internships for young musicians.
They will get £30,000 to go towards Covid-compliant duties to allow their members and emerging artists to access the rehearsal and recording space.
Director, Wozzy Brewster, said: “The past year has certainly had its challenges, with young people and emerging artists struggling with their mental health and the live music scene on hold.
“This grant will help The Midi Music Company begin its journey towards reopening, providing access to our students and members to combat the impact of the pandemic on their livelihood, well-being and creativity.”
Another music charity World Heart Beat Music Academy in Wandsworth has received a grant of £67,514.
World Heart Beat Music Academy has provided a range of online music learning opportunities and a busy live-streamed concert programme to help keep its young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds and on bursary support, engaged and optimistic during lockdown.
The will help get the academy back on track with plans to reopen with face-to-face music learning and to resume its full concert programme.
The Florence Nightingale Museum, Lambeth, will get almost £65,000.
The nation’s only museum of nursing will use the funding to plan for the future and maintain their collections to best-practice standards and retain staff.
David Green, director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, said: “The trustees of the Florence Nightingale Museum and I are very grateful for the support of the Cultural Recovery Fund, which has made an immeasurable difference to our survival.
“While deeply ironic, the threat of losing the museum at a time when the global nursing professions which Nightingale inspired were working so hard, was sadly very real 12 months ago.”
British Youth Music Theatre, Peckham, a national performing arts education charity that specialises in creating brand new music theatre, will also receive funding.
The grant will help with the commissioning and creation of 10 new productions to take place around England this summer.
Jon Bromwich, executive producer, British Youth Music Theatre, said: “BYMT plays a vital role in investing in the future of music theatre.
“This year has been a real challenge for the arts industry and we can’t wait to get back to normal and see new exceptional young talent in our next exciting season of musical theatre.”
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.”
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