Government funding lifeline will help save iconic Bath cultural venues

October 16, 2020

Eight of Bath’s cultural venues have received vital funding under a £1.57bn government scheme to help them survive the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and secure their future.

The diverse list – which spans music, visual art, theatre, comedy and literature – ranges from The Theatre Royal to Moles Club. 

They are among 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support from Arts Council England as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The cultural sector has been hit harder than most others during the pandemic, with many venues only recently re-opening – and then with a much-reduced capacity due to social distancing.

Many have been forced to make redundancies and, with the government’s furlough scheme coming to an end, could be looking to make further staffing cuts.

Bath’s Theatre Royal, pictured, has been given £955,192 – the largest amount of any of  the 30-plus West of England arts organisations to receive funding.

Live performances at the Theatre Royal Bath returned this week for the first time since March with a season of three classic plays performed in the socially distanced Main House auditorium.

Theatre Royal Bath director Danny Moar said: “We are thrilled to receive this news, especially in the week we open our Welcome Back Season after a seven month closure.

“This funding will help us keep our doors open into the spring of 2021 and beyond. We are delighted that the importance of our work for the people of Bath and beyond has been recognised in this way.”

Other theatre beneficiaries are the Next Stage Theatre Company, the resident company at The Mission Theatre, (£51,499) and the Rondo Trust, which runs city’s Rondo fringe theatre (£50,000).

Rondo Artistic director Ian McGlynn said: “We are relieved and delighted to have been awarded this vital grant at a time of crisis for theatres up and down the country.

“Small venues have been especially hit hard, as it’s almost impossible to make socially distanced audiences economically viable, and our small reserves have been eaten up by fixed overheads.

“Although we can’t re-open just yet, this grant will ensure our survival through the Winter, and hopefully into a brighter spring.”

Visual art has been backed with £326,408 for The Holburne museum, live music and comedy with £210,000 going to The Beau Nash Ltd, the business behind Komedia Bath while George Street (Bath), which runs Moles, has received £249,300.

Heritage is also supported through £189,903 for Jane Austen Ltd, which runs the city’s Jane Austen  Centre, the Jane Austen online gift shop and the Regency Tea Room.

Bath Festivals has received £100,000 and Bath International Comedy Festival £75,000.

Bath Festivals CEO Ian Stockley said: “Bath Festivals are delighted to have received the emergency funding from the Arts Council Culture Recovery Fund, supporting our purpose of connecting the wider communities through the arts and celebrating the positive impact that the arts can have on people’s lives.” 

Theatre Royal Bath @Freia Turland


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