Cresset receives £242,000 from government’s Culture Recovery Fund as city benefits to tune of £1.1m

The Cresset in Peterborough has been awarded £242,286 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.
The Cresset.The Cresset.
The Cresset.

The Bretton venue is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the first

round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

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The six recipients so far in Peterborough have been awarded £1.1million.

Peterborough Voices - part of Peterborough Sings!Peterborough Voices - part of Peterborough Sings!
Peterborough Voices - part of Peterborough Sings!

The Cresset has been staging live events in Peterborough for over 40 years, and has played host to hundreds of acts. Over 60,000 people attended live events last year, with 80% of audiences coming

from within the Peterborough postcode area. Since March over 100 performances and events have been cancelled or rescheduled. While the venue has announced some socially distanced performances in recent weeks including a specially adapted pantomime, the reduced capacity has a huge financial impact.

Head of Commercial Activities at The Cresset Penny Hansen said: “This funding will make an enormous difference to us. It allows us to continue to run events, to retain our wonderful staff and to work with freelancers and suppliers in the area. We are committed to continuing to provide events and entertainment to our audiences in a safe and sustainable way and this is a real lifeline to ensure we can afford to do this and be here for the months and years to come. We’re incredibly grateful to DCMS and Arts Council England for their support.”

Meanwhile, Peterborough Sings! has been awarded £50,000.

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Founded in 2011, Peterborough Sings! is a music education charity which supports two award winning non-auditioned adult choirs, Peterborough Male Voice Choir and Peterborough Voices, as well as Peterborough Community Chorus and Peterborough Youth Choir, which provides free-to-all singing tuition to children aged seven plus. The charity also runs an extensive programme of outreach work to promote singing in the local community, including the Peterborough Schools’ Singing Strategy, the Peterborough Boys’ Voices Project and charity fundraising projects Sing for Life and Men United in Song.

William Prideaux, director of Peterborough Sings! said: “We’re delighted that Peterborough Sings! has been recognised as a key organisation in the cultural life of the city and with today’s award from the Culture Recovery Fund which will help us to shape the music education opportunities we are able to provide in Peterborough.

At a time when many people are facing challenges in many areas of their lives and with culture and the arts hard hit by the pandemic it is more important than ever that ever that we continue to actively engage with as wide a cross-section of our local community as possible and to provide them with high-quality cultural experiences.”

New Theatre has been awarded £639,277, City based Pop Up Projects CIC was awarded £85,500 and Rocket Park Studios Limited £58,359. As previously reported live music venue The Met Lounge received £63,186.

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Paul Bristow MP, Member of Parliament for Peterborough said: “Our City has been given over £1.1 million to fund our excellent theatres and live music venues, along with performing arts groups’ and choirs. These organisations are all part of Peterborough’s thriving cultural scene!

“Together with many who work in the arts and in culture, I have made the case for Peterborough. The Government and the Arts Council have listened.

“I am so proud of this support which will ensure Peterborough moves forward as a cultural hotspot not just for the region but for the whole country.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery. 

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“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”