Success for Shropshire arts organisations in latest government grants

Cultural organisations in Shropshire have been awarded more than £150,000 in grants in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Funds.

The Shrewsbury Folk Festival photo: Drone Ranger
The Shrewsbury Folk Festival photo: Drone Ranger

Shrewsbury Folk Festival, DASH - Disability Arts Shropshire - and musical theatre company, Get Your Wigle On are among 925 recipients to benefit from the latest round of the government awards.

The funding goes to all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges.

Shrewsbury was one of the few major folk festivals to take place this year. Organisers pulled out all the stops to adapt its format to include open air stages and other measures to manage the safety of festival goers.

They are already making plans to celebrate its 25th year in 2022 with the first wave of artists and tickets released on December 1.

Sandra Surtees, director of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, said she was incredibly grateful for the grant that would help support a more sustainable future for the festival.

“The grant has given us a strong foundation on which to create and deliver next year’s festival. We sustain a wider network of freelancers, musicians, suppliers and contractors and the bedrock of this financial support means we can offer them some continuity too,” she said.

The 2022 Shrewsbury Folk Festival will take place at the West Midland Showground in Berwick Road from August 26-29.

A grant of £78,000 has been made to Get Your Wigle On which, after being set up in 2010, stages full scale musical productions and concerts at Shrewsbury's Theatre Severn.

The team put members through theatre exams and see them go on to professional and West End jobs.

A spokesman said: "Our aim is to build confidence, skills, memories and friendships in a relaxed and creative environment... we love our town, we love our members and we love what we do. "

DASH - Disability Arts Shropshire, won £32,993 in the funding round.

The disabled led visual arts organisation commissions exciting new work by disabled visual artists. It also runs workshops and provides mentoring for artists and training.

The latest round of UK wide funding is worth £107 million, with awards going to arts, culture, heritage organisations and independent cinemas.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from.

“Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

More than £1.2 billion has already been awarded from the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, supporting around 5,000 individual organisations and sites across the country ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains.

Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, said: “This continued investment from the Government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives”.

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