Quay Arts and Ventnor Exchange have been awarded a combined grant of £231,927 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.
The Island venues are 2 of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. The £257 million of investment has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
Since 1976 Quay Arts has been the Island’s leading multidisciplinary art centre, enabling the creative imagination and ambition for artists, musicians and performers.
Open since 2014, Ventnor Exchange has grown to play a key role in developing emerging talent, operating a venue and cultural hub for the past 6 years, as well as the multi award winning Ventnor Fringe Festival and innovative youth programme ‘Brave Island’.
This grant will see both organisations work more closely together to develop the Island’s cultural ecosystem and build greater resilience in these uncertain times. This funding will allow us time to take stock of the new world in which we find ourselves and continue to provide arts programmes and activities with which people of all backgrounds can engage. It includes a direct investment of £30,000 to Ventnor Exchange to help protect jobs and allow the reintroduction of a full live programme, adapted to the new guidelines, which would otherwise be unviable.
Georgia Newman, Quay Arts Visual Arts Manager, has said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to see our joint bid with Ventnor Exchange has been accepted! These are truly unprecedented times, the impact of the pandemic having severely hit our trading activities, (Steve Ross Foundation for the Arts), which supports the Quay Arts charity. This investment will ensure there is a safe place for arts and culture to not only survive, but to thrive on the Isle of Wight.”
Jack Whitewood, Co-Director of Ventnor Exchange, has said:
“This vital funding is transformative for Ventnor Exchange. After losing 75% of our income following months of closure and the cancellation of Ventnor Fringe, this now gives us hope. After months of firefighting, we can now focus all of our efforts and resources on supporting our community and helping to lead the cultural, social and economic recovery to come.”