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Royal & Derngate receives Culture Recovery funding in the wake of Covid-19 closure

Written by on October 24, 2020

Royal & Derngate is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a £2.1 million grant as part of DCMS’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The venue is one of 35 major cultural organisations receiving the first grants between £1 and £3 million through the Culture Recovery Fund – with £75 million of investment announced today. This follows £334 million awarded earlier in the month to nearly 2,000 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Chief Executive Jo Gordon and Artistic Director James Dacre commented; “We’re pleased to share the news today that we have received a significant grant from Arts Council England and DCMS through the Culture Recovery Fund. This is designed to provide arts organisations like ours with essential financial support until March 2021 and represents a positive and timely step in securing Royal & Derngate and Northampton Filmhouse’s future.

Since the pandemic forced us to close in March we have survived without 90% of our expected income. This has required us to reimagine our business and sadly meant that we have not been able to retain all of our much-valued team members’ roles. We want to acknowledge everybody who has supported us during this time – whether by donating to our fundraising campaigns, advocating on our behalf, engaging with our activities online, attending our drive-in cinema at Delapré Abbey or buying advance tickets and memberships for next year. A heartfelt thank you. 

Today’s investment means we can now reopen both our filmhouses from November and prepare our large and complex venue to welcome audiences for live performances on our three stages from the New Year. Meanwhile, it will also help us deliver a digital programme of activities for our local communities, strengthen our commitment to children and young people, champion local artists and support hundreds of freelance theatre-makers to develop work that will fill these stages in the months and years to come. We look forward to sharing details of these exciting plans with you soon.

The cultural sector has shown extraordinary strength and solidarity during this very difficult year. We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from others across the industry, as well as from our colleagues, audiences and local stakeholders.

This support has constantly reminded us how much Royal & Derngate means to the people of Northamptonshire and beyond. While there is still a long and uncertain road ahead, we are grateful that we have so many friends to travel it with.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England added: “We’re delighted that Royal & Derngate Theatres has been successful through the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The theatre is a cornerstone of Northampton’s cultural offer and this grant will offer them some short-term security and the opportunity to plan for the future. From creating ground-breaking new touring musicals, to hosting international dance companies and sell-out West End shows, Royal & Derngate plays a crucial role in bringing interesting and diverse opportunities to people across the region.

“The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to remain in business through to the Spring. Well-loved community projects, theatres, galleries, museums, clubs, music venues, festivals, key cultural suppliers along with other creative spaces and projects have benefited, and their communities will feel a boost as a result. At a time where many communities and organisations face difficult challenges, this is a chance to continue on the road to recovery, post-Covid.”

For all the latest information on what’s on in 2021; digital performances; workshops for children and young people; artist opportunities and more, please visit

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