Coronavirus: Government grant to help Redbridge arts venues reopen

The Kenneth More Theatre is set to re-open for the first time post-lockdown with a celebration of al

Vision RCL has received a £190k government grant to help venues such as The Kenneth More Theatre reopen. - Credit: Geoff Wilkinson

Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure (RCL) has been awarded almost £200,000 in additional grant money from the government to help arts venues re-open.

Vision RCL, the council’s culture and leisure partner, was granted £190,110 from the Culture Recovery Fund and was among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit in the latest round of funding.

The second round of grants, announced on Friday, April 2, will help organisations to plan for reopening and recovery.

Vision was awarded almost £550,000 in the first round of awards given out in October. 

The funding will go towards a range of music, drama and theatre opportunities, particularly for young people across Redbridge.

The grant will also support the reopening of the Kenneth More Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre and facilitate the commission of several new theatre pieces.

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Redbridge Music Service will also benefit from the funding as it will help provide a range of music opportunities for the borough's primary school children over the summer term.

Gareth Morley, head of culture and libraries at Vision RCL, said: "The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for our arts and cultural services. 

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"This additional funding will now support our recovery and reopening over the next few months across Redbridge music, drama and theatre services. 

"We can’t wait to welcome people back to the Kenneth More Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre to experience live performances together again, whether as an audience member or performer."

Deputy council leader Cllr Kam Rai, cabinet member for finance, leisure and culture, added: "This is a fantastic achievement by Vision that will fund a range of music, drama and theatre across the borough and benefit our young people in particular as we build back our cultural programmes as the pandemic eases.”

The latest round of grants are from a £400m pot to help organisations as the needs of the pandemic change.

The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

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