A RAFT of south west venues and arts groups have been awarded a share of more than £2,000,000 from a fund to help cultural groups hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

Arts venues, from galleries to concert halls, festivals to theatre groups, have struggled since the onset of the crisis, which has seen venues closed for long periods.

Now, the Government has revealed 1,385 organisations that will receive money from the Cultural Recovery Fund, which totals more than £1.5 billion.

In Somerset, around 17 groups are set to benefit from more than £2 million of funding.

Among them are Arcadia Spectacular Ltd, whose spectacular displays include an area at the Glastonbury Festival, and the Cheese & Grain venue in Frome, which has hosted the likes of the Foo Fighters.

Also awarded funding are the Taunton Theatre Association, which runs the Brewhouse Theatre in the County Town, and the Petherton Arts Trust, which runs the David Hall in South Petherton.

Chief executive of the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, Amy Bere, said: “We are extremely grateful for Arts Council England for allocating The Brewhouse Theatre a significant grant as part of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

"The funding will help us navigate the next six months as a reduced capacity venue, enable us some breathing space to develop a new business plan and helps us prepare and plan for our recovery.

"We will continue to connect with our audiences through our cinema screenings, Take Part activity (in person and online) and restart live performance later this year, in a safe way so that the wide variety of events and activities offered at the Brewhouse can continue to be enjoyed during this difficult time. 

"The Government’s recognition of the value of the cultural industries demonstrated through the Cultural Recovery Fund, and Arts Council England’s commitment to supporting regional arts organisations, will enable The Brewhouse to continue to serve the artists and audiences of Somerset as we rebuild following this disastrous year.” 

They list of Somerset recipients is:

Yeovil Express:

Mendip:
23 Bath Street - £86,246
Black Swan Arts - £54,000
Frome Cheese & Grain - £98,000
Strode Theatre - £264,911
The International Music Exchange - £50,000

Sedgemoor:
Midnight mango Ltd - £66,752
Somerset Film and Video Ltd - £52,000


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Somerset West and Taunton:
South West Heritage Trust - £198,624
Taunton Theatre Association Ltd - £194,015

North Somerset:
Arcadia Specacular Ltd - £237,826
Koolwaters Agency ltd - £96,548
The Wardrobe Ensemble - £51,600
Trigger - £85,558
Weston-super-Mare Town Council - £323,000

South Somerset:
Art Care Education (ACE) - £50,000
Dedication Stories Ltd - £75,000
Petherton Arts Trust - £51,476