Culture Recovery Fund gifts £188,158 to Wiltshire Music Centre

By Ben Carey on 16 October, 2020

Wiltshire Music Centre is one of nine organisations across Swindon and Wiltshire to receive a share of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Based in Bradford on Avon, the Centre has been awarded £188,158 to face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and help secure its future.

1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country have received support in the first round of the CRF grants programme administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Wiltshire Music Centre was originally founded in 1997 as a place for young musicians to meet and rehearse. Over the last 23 years the Centre’s role has grown exponentially to provide opportunities for live music to inspire, enrich and transform the lives of the whole community. 

Wiltshire Music Centre Chief Executive, Maud Saint-Sardos, said, “We are thrilled to have been awarded funding via the Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund. This pivotal grant, together with support through our Community Fundraising Appeal, and the commitment and generosity of our Friends, Angels, volunteers and supporters, will enable us to continue to be here for culture and for our community.

“This year has posed unprecedented challenges for Wiltshire Music Centre and for our colleagues across the sector. Support through the Culture Recovery Fund will help us to face these head on. It will enable us to adapt and innovate in response to the changing artistic landscape, continue to deliver ambitious programming and projects, and embrace digital and new opportunities for livestream broadcasting from the Centre.

“It will help us to protect and create important employment opportunities within the sector and to ensure that we can continue to operate safely and effectively, in a Covid-secure way.

“Above all this pivotal funding will enable us to deliver on our commitment to our community. We believe in the power of music to inspire, enrich and transform people’s lives; music and the arts have a vital role in society and for our wellbeing and this is more important than ever before.”

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. 

“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 of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, added, “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.”

Other recipients across Swindon and Wiltshire include: The Pound Arts Trust Ltd, Corsham; Wiltshire Creative, Salisbury; Chalke Valley History Festival, Salisbury; WOMAD Ltd, Malmesbury; Wyvern Theatre Ltd, Swindon; Level 3, Swindon; Old Town Sounds Ltd, Swindon; and Swindon Dance.