Thanks to Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the government's Culture Recovery Fund, we can continue to be here for Culture, here for Heritage & here for Cornwall.
We are delighted to have heard today that we have been awarded a £2m Arts Council England grant from the Cultural Capital KickStart Fund, part of the Government's £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.
We are one of 74 organisations receiving grants totalling £58.9 million today. The Capital Kickstart fund was launched in August to help existing holders of Arts Council capital grants to complete building projects that would otherwise be stalled by the impacts of the pandemic.
Part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, the money is designed to cover increased costs relating to Covid-19, including extended completion dates and the loss of fundraising income.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has also confirmed today that it is providing an additional £231,000 to our Revealing City Hall heritage project, bringing its total investment to £2.8m to support the restoration and promotion of our building’s rich 175 year history and its importance as a civic and municipal space.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “This government promised it would be here for culture and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word. The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications. Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture - so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England said “Today’s announcement is another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector. Supporting capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work, while the loans announced today will enable some of our largest and most prestigious cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so. The Arts Council is grateful to the Government for their support through the Culture Recovery Fund, and we are proud to support all the organisations receiving funding today.”
Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory said: “This is a hugely important project for Cornwall and I’m delighted that Arts Council England is using some of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund to offset the impacts of Covid-19. Once complete the Hall For Cornwall is expected to bring over £35m to the Cornish economy in the first five years and create 165 jobs, and play an important role in our post-pandemic economic recovery.”
In 2018, we shut our doors to embark on an ambitious transformation which has seen our Grade II listed building entirely gutted to make way for a greatly enlarged auditorium, new cafés, bars, and creative business space. When we started out on our journey, we could never have planned for the events of 2020 that have impacted all our lives.
Our project was hit by delays after the site was forced to shut down entirely for a month during the first lockdown, and since then has been impacted by social distancing rules, slowing construction and increasing costs. We had originally been due for completion this year but, as a result of the award, can now look forward to our reopening, aiming to stage our first major show - a world premiere - in September 2021.
Dame Rosemary Squire DBE, Co-Chair of trustees of Hall For Cornwall, said: “We warmly welcome this investment from the Government’s Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund. It is a vital contribution towards us realising the transformation of this well-loved theatre into a powerhouse for arts, culture and creativity for the whole of Cornwall, and we can’t wait to reopen our doors next year.”
Julien Boast, HFC’s Chief Executive and Creative Director, said: “We’ll soon be announcing details of our first major co-production for next year and we’re hugely grateful to Arts Council England for stepping in with this vital grant from the Cultural Capital KickStart Fund to cover extra Covid-related project costs. We’re also grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for an additional £231,000, which has also been announced today.
“The virus has delayed our reopening but that has only hardened our resolve to put together a fantastic programme of entertainment for our inaugural season. While we work towards completing the build we are continuing with our community activities across Cornwall, supporting local talent, young people and schools.”
Alan Davey CBE, Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Hall for Cornwall Board member, said: “The Hall For Cornwall is undergoing an extensive transformation that will make it a cornerstone of Cornwall’s cultural offer and an asset for all the community. This vital funding through Arts Council England will offset the impact of Covid-19 on the build and paves the way for a triumphant opening in 2021.”
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: "We are really pleased to announce seven awards from the Culture Recovery Fund: Capital Kickstart across the South West today. This latest tranche of funding to be announced from the Government’s generous package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector ensures that many of the regions ambitious and ongoing cultural developments - that have been delayed due to Covid-19 - can now securely get back on track to reopening and serving their communities with fantastic cultural experiences.”
The pandemic has hilighted how much community matters and our new home will be a beacon for the county, playing a vital role in Cornwall's economic recovery. Our reimagined theatre will provide welcome spaces for schools and community groups and new backstage facilities will widen access, helping us to provide many more creative opportunities for young people and schools.
We're passionate about throwing open our doors next year and welcoming you all back to a new theatre which has people, passion and possibility at its heart.
We are truly grateful to the partnership working of all our funders on this project which is being supported by Arts Council England, Cornwall Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, HM Treasury, the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, the European Regional Development Fund and an army of passionate and committed supporters.