Island organisations have received a total of £544,000 in grants and loans to help them reopen and recover from the coronavirus lockdown, as part of the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

This funding will help 11 organisations on the Isle of Wight return to normal operating models in the months ahead as they welcome back visitors and return the Cultural and Entertainment Industry to a thriving part of the Island’s Economy.

An organisation that will benefit is Newport’s Quay Arts Centre which is set to receive £60,071 from the fund, helping the centre to recover and reopen following the extensive period of closure caused by the pandemic.

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Quay Arts Centre Manager, Del Seymour, said:

“Quay Arts are eternally grateful to be receiving funding via the #CultureRecoveryFund – as a result, we can continue to deliver arts and culture to the island digitally whilst preparing for our imminent re-opening.

“With a wide range of workshops, visual arts, artist and curator talks/tours, live music and more planned Quay Arts is most definitely #HereForCulture.”

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.

One of the Isle of Wight’s 2 cinemas, Ryde’s Commodore – which first opened in 1936 – has also received a share of the grant, with £28,667 heading to the popular venue. Other organisations set to benefit on the Island include theatre and events specialists StageGear (£43,266), Strings Bar and Venue (£52,000), and Spotlight IOW (£107,000).

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Member for the Isle of Wight, Bob Seely MP stated:

“I have been making the case strongly for Government support for cultural organisations on the Island to make sure that they are in position to open up again as soon as allowed.

“I strongly welcome this funding to 11 key businesses and organisations here on the Isle of Wight. I also welcome the funding for St Thomas’ in Newport.

“We are all looking forward to getting back to a new normal.”

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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