THE SHOW WILL GO ON!
The team at The Albany Theatre in Coventry is elated to have received the news today (12/10/2020) that they have secured a £250k grant from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. Without the funding, The Albany would have been forced to close at the end of the week, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of all at the theatre, they can now look forward with confidence.
Chair of Trustees, David Meredith said: “Everyone involved has done a fantastic job to open what was an empty theatre in 2013 and take it to where it is now. This money will help secure a sustainable future. We know that many other organisations and individuals have not received this crucial help and we have every sympathy for them. We are very conscious that The Albany will be critically important as a provider of opportunities in particular for children and young people and as part of the ecology of the local arts scene. We will not let people down.”
Earlier this year, The Albany Theatre was poised to press the button on their mini Autumn season and their redevelopment plans and this grant means that the button can now be pressed and events can go ahead as planned. Kevin Shaw, CEO and Artistic Director, is looking forward to an exciting new season of activity: “Our team has been working tirelessly to ensure that, subject to funding, we could provide safe yet enjoyable events, a diverse outreach programme and more opportunities to engage with and inspire the people of Coventry at a time when they need it most. I am delighted that thanks to government investment and Arts Council England, these plans can now be achieved and will start in the coming months. We hope to be a key player as we head towards Coventry’s year as City of Culture.”
Local MP Zarah Sultana, who joined The Albany Board earlier this year, says the grant has saved the theatre: “The Albany had exhausted its funds and would have had to permanently close its doors. I am delighted that they have secured this grant and will be able to invest in new creative spaces that will generate enough income to ensure long-term sustainability.”
Commenting on Coventry arts and cultural organisations receiving Cultural Recovery Fund Grants, Ms Sultana said: “In Parliament I had called on the Government to support Coventry’s fantastic arts and cultural organisations and I had met with Ministers to push this forward. I am incredibly relieved that this is now happening, saving jobs, preserving opportunities that are enjoyed by so many people, and helping us to build towards City of Culture 2021.”
Thousands in the arts and events industry still struggle despite the funding news that some organisations were lucky enough to receive today. The Albany hopes to keep their small pocket of the sector thriving to give hope to others around the UK.