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Fabric among the venues to receive more than £1 million from the Culture Recovery Fund

By | Published on Monday 26 October 2020


London clubbing venue Fabric is among a list of cultural businesses that will each receive more than £1 million in grant funding from the Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund. A total of 35 organisations were among the latest CRF beneficiaries to be confirmed on Saturday, with this round of funding providing each grant recipient between £1 million and £3 million.

The Culture Recovery Fund is distributing a significant portion of the £1.57 billion in sector-specific COVID funding provided by the UK government to the cultural and heritage industries. The monies distributed are meant help recipient companies weather the ongoing COVID storm through to next April.

Previous recipients of CRF grants received no more than a million pounds. This round saw bigger grants, with a number of larger music and theatre venues around England among those getting a slice of the money.

Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena and the Bournemouth International Centre also received million pound plus grants, as did the likes of London theatres Sadlers’ Wells, the Old Vic and The Globe, alongside the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Confirming the latest round of CRF grants, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said on Saturday: “As part of our unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue fund, today we’re saving British cultural icons with large grants of up to £3 million – from Shakespeare’s Globe to the Sheffield Crucible. These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are. This vital funding will secure their future and protect jobs right away”.

Of course, there remains some controversy over the distribution of the Culture Recovery Fund grants, with some criticising how the money has been awarded, and in particular how some key venues have missed out on funding. A number of prominent dance music venues in London are among those who have missed out, though the dance music community will nevertheless be relieved that Fabric’s application has been successful.

The venue says that it will use some of its £1,514,262 grant to pay rent, undertake critical maintenance and invest in the infrastructure that will be required when it re-opens, given the assumption some COVID restrictions will still be in place. Although some of the money will also be used for livestreaming, educational and community outreach projects.

The club said in a statement this weekend: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve been successful in our application for the Culture Recovery Fund. We’re incredibly relieved to receive this support after what has been a very tense waiting period for everyone at Fabric, and would like to express our gratitude to the Arts Council England team and Department For Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for the faith they’ve shown in us. We also want to thank Music Venue Trust, NTIA and UKHospitality for their constant support throughout the pandemic”.

“Like so many other cultural institutions around the world”, they went on, “the last eight months have been some of the most challenging in our lifespan. With our doors closed and no source of income to sustain ourselves, simply paying rent and maintaining a 1500 person venue in central London has placed enormous pressure and financial strain on us as a business. The Culture Recovery Fund will be a vital lifeline for us, particularly as we expect to be unable to open for regular club events for the foreseeable future”.

They added: “We’re THRILLED that a venue such as ours has been recognised alongside so many of the UK’s most prized institutions. Electronic music is culture and we are proud to have represented this scene for the last 21 years. While it’s very difficult to look to the future in the midst of so much uncertainty, we sincerely hope that our community will be able to come together and bounce back stronger”.

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