The Culture Recovery Fund: how did the North East do?

Alnwick Playhouse was awarded £197, 668 funds as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
Photo by Richard Abbott-Brailey

Arts Council England has made 1,974 awards totalling £334,062,243 from the two rounds of grants under £1m from the Culture Recovery Fund, a £1.57 billion fund from the Department of Digital, Media and Sport to provide emergency aid for theatre, music, dance, visual arts, literature, film, museums and other cultural organisations during the pandemic. A further round of grants of over £1m is yet to come, as are details of loans.

So how did the North East do in these first two rounds?

I have to admit that I found it depressing in the extreme to scroll through 974 spreadsheet rows to find comparatively few references to the region.

(Yes! Me reading a spreadsheet! Incredible! I’m a thespian, darling; I don’t do the mathematicals!)

Anyway, the North East came at the bottom of the list in both rounds, receiving 81 awards with a total value of £13,925,643. Ahead of us were the East Midlands (127 awards worth £20,088, 932) and the West Midlands (149 awards worth £22,904,888).

London, incidentally, received 627 awards, totalling £114,173,249, but we’d expect that, wouldn’t we?

So how did the various sectors do in the NE?

Music : £3,717,991
Theatre : £3,055,124
Combined Arts : £2,460,054
Museums : £2,133,520
Not Discipline-Specific : £1,575,532
Visual Arts : £627,089
Film : £371,892
Dance : £319,544
Literature : £264,000
Other/Not known : £173,928

Combined Arts includes a number of organisations we normally think of as theatres but are, in fact, Arts Centre, like the Customs House in South Shields.
Not Discipline-Specific refers to organisations like the Association for Cultural Enterprises in Stanhope, Co Durham, which is a training provider.
There were only two awards in the Film category, to Hexham-based Satellite Films, a socially-engaged film organisation, specialising in artists’ and experimental moving image production, and £309,800 to the Tyneside Cinema.
Other/Not Known is Arts Council’s own designation, not ours! It would seem to suggest that they are giving a grant to they know not whom…

The distribution of grants by local authority area is almost as you would expect – with just a couple of surprises:

County (& City of) Durham : 4
Darlington : 2
Gateshead : 5
Hartlepool : 4
Middlesbrough : 3
Newcastle: 22
North Tyneside : 1
Northumberland : 14
Redcar & Cleveland : 4
South Tyneside : 3
Stockton : 7
Sunderland : 6

The largest single grant went to Darlington Hippodrome, which received £1,000,000. There was one, to Durham & Darlington Music Education Hub, which was placed in the Durham category.

I may be being a tad pessimistic, but I honestly can’t see many from the next round (over £1m) coming to the region!

UPDATE on 24th Oct 2020

The first round of grants between £1m & £3m has been announced, with the NE getting 2 awards: £3m for Newcastle Theatre Royal and £1.8m for The Sage. 
Amounts awarded per region were:

East Midlands – £3,112,891
East of England – 3,000,000
London – £22,361,289
North East – £4,800,000
North West – £6,319,606
South East – £3,000,000
South West – £7,395,531
West Midlands – £21,341,390
Yorks & Humberside – £7,788,435

Please follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or support us with a regular donation