Huge cash boost allows Blackpool's Grand to rebuild for future

The Grand Theatre has scooped almost half a million pounds to help put iton the road to recovery following its lockdown closure.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:30 am
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

The Grand Theatre has scooped almost half a million pounds to help put iton the road to recovery following its lockdown closure.

The money is a share of almost £400m as part of a Government boost from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The Blackpool Grand theatre (Arts and Entertainment) Ltd was give £491,00.

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Others to benefit around Lancashire including The Dukes Playhouse at Lancaster, The Grand at Clitheroe and Burnely Youth Theatre.

The extra funding will allow The Grand to rebuild ready for the autumn, when it is hoped live performances will be able to begin once more.

The Grand is currently operating with a skeleton staff of just 14, down from 57 pre-Covid.

In September, the venue was forced to lay off a number of staff, some on furlough, but others were made redundant.

But now, chief executive Ruth Eastwood hopes the Grand will be able to re-employ staff and buy in productions ready for a return to normality.

She said: “The money will allow us to rebuild ready for autumn.

“We have been forced to cut back staff but now we will be able to re-employ and use some of the money to buy in ‘product’ ready to begin again.

“There will be a shortage of productions available and we will have to concentrate on the shows that are easier to put on – such as stand-up comedy and performances by small bands.

“We are very pleased with the money and are now able to start thinking about future productions.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

“These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”