Date published: 13th October 2020

North Norfolk District Council is delighted to hear that Arts Council England has awarded Cultural Recovery Fund grants to three of the District's much loved arts venues.

Openwide Coastal (contract managers of Cromer Pier), has secured £250,000, which will see them through until the summer season next year, Sheringham Little Theatre is set to receive £76,644 and Wells Maltings has been awarded £90,000.

With reduced capacities and government restrictions during the pandemic, it has been impossible to stage the usual shows and exhibitions this year, and this funding will be a much needed lifeline to protect the future of the culture and arts scene in North Norfolk.

Rory Holburn, Director at Openwide Coastal commented in a statement, “This has been an extremely difficult time for us but this grant will help by covering some of the losses we have already incurred and will incur from being closed this year. It also assists in ensuring the team we still have on payroll can now remain in place to enable us to re-open next summer without losing any of their knowledge and expertise that help make the show such a renowned success.”

“The Pier and Pavilion Theatre are also cornerstones of the local Tourism economy so we are delighted that we will be able to also help provide a much needed boost next spring as all  businesses attempt to recover from the damage the pandemic has done.”

Rory concluded, “This really will help the Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre survive the next 6 months and assist as we try to re-build the business over the next few years with our partners at NNDC. We would really like to thank both the department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Arts Council for making this money available and recognising the importance of this national treasure to the cultural landscape.”

Sheringham Little Theatre director, Debbie Thompson said: “This is fantastic news, and the team here are delighted after some worrying weeks. The grant helps us recoup past losses – and to be sustainable in the future, operating under the social distancing restrictions which cuts our capacity to 30pc.

“It means we can carry on with the programming we were planning – including a panto, some exciting new plays showcasing emerging young talent – and a pioneering project by our youngsters looking at rural racism issues.”

Wells Maltings director Simon Daykin says, “We are thrilled – it’s a true lifeline in these stormy times, and allows us to keep on doing what we can to entertain, delight and support our audiences and community. We know how important entertainment and the arts in all their forms are to public wellbeing, and together with the huge generosity of our community through our recent Road to Recovery campaign, this much needed funding ensures that the show in Wells will go on.”

Cllr Virginia Gay, NNDC's Portfolio Holder for Culture and Wellbeing, added: "Many congratulations to our successful art venues. It takes a lot of dedication to get an important grant like this one. This is such good news for all of us."

Last updated: 13th October 2020