Oxford Playhouse Foyer CREDIT Geraint Lewis

Oxford Playhouse, Pegasus Theatre, Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre, Creation Theatre Company and the Ultimate Picture Palace will receive new funding to help them recover and reopen when lockdown ends as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery, it was announced today. 

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country, in this latest round of grants.

“our days would have been numbered without this much needed boost”

Oxford Playhouse has been awarded a grant of £1,056,596. Louise Chantal and Vanessa Lefrancois, Joint CEO/Directors at Oxford Playhouse said: “We are thrilled and incredibly thankful to receive this significant grant from the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund. The last year has been unparalleled in terms of the challenges the arts sector has faced.  At Oxford Playhouse we have been determined to stay connected with audiences and participants.”

“This grant is testament to the amazing work that the organisation and staff team have delivered not just through our artistic programme, but by the hugely valuable work delivered through our Playhouse Communities and Playhouse Artists strands of work.”

Oxford Playhouse will also receive a grant Picture by Ed Nix

Louise added: “As we move forward, we are confident that Oxford Playhouse is in a strong position to recover, remain resilient, and support the recovery of the cultural sector.  We can’t wait to welcome audiences back to our Main House and Studio Theatre as well as outdoors this summer and online.”

Banbury’s Mill Arts Centre has received a grant of £49,524 to support the venue as it resumes a full programme of events.

Sarah Wright from The Mill said: “Over the last year, we have developed our programme in an ever-changing context, enabling us to continue providing classes, workshops and live performances to the communities of Banbury and beyond.”

The Mill

Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford has received a grant of £20,686 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.  

Pegasus Theatre offers exciting and inspiring creative opportunities for children and young people from all backgrounds. This grant will support the theatre over the coming months as they re-open the building for drama and street dance classes and prepare for the return of their full programme on stage this autumn.  

Pegasus Young Company 16-25 Production 2019 – Photo by J Donoghue Photography

Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said: “I am delighted that Pegasus has been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.  The theatre does a huge amount to provide cultural opportunity across Oxford. They always have so much on offer and they will do a great deal to support local children and young people who have had such a hard time recently.” 

The Ultimate Picture Palace in East Oxford was awarded £25,526 to help it maintain the independent cinema and welcome its audiences back as soon as possible.

Oxford’s Creation Theatre Company was also a recipient of £143,740 from the government fund. Chief Executive and Creative Producer Lucy Askew said: “We threw everything to ensure we kept making work and pivoting to digital over the last year. It’s been an incredible creatively fulfilling time. Ultimately though without shows in “real life” too our days would have been numbered without this much needed boost.”

Creation’s virtual Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Over £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 coronavirus pandemic. 

The second round of awards made today provide a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.  

Pegasus Theatre was awarded a grant. CREDIT Geraint Lewis

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.” 

Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.



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