More money for Somerset Arts

Last week we wrote about Somerton & Frome MP, David Warburton lobbying for funding for the Cheese & Grain. This week some funding turned up. Cause and effect? Who knows but right now arts organisations around the county won’t care much.

The Cheese & Grain have been awarded just under £100,000. Will that be enough? The injection of funds into venues that have been forced to close for 6 months could be the difference between survival or not.

Frome does particularly well from this round of funding with welcome support not just for the Cheese & Grain but also Black Swan Arts and 23 Bath Street.

In South Somerset, The David Hall in South Petherton has just started to experiment with gigs again. For now they are partly online and partly live but with social distancing. They have been awarded just over £50,000.

Strode Theatre which has had to mothball itself over the past few months has been awarded a quarter of a million which should allow it to survive and see a way into the future beyond COVID 19. The Brewhouse in Taunton also gets a substantial grant of just under £200,000. Rather than shut down completely they have been looking at creative ways of keeping the lights on, even if it is to show filsm of live events from happier times.

There is also an award of nearly £200,000 for the Trust that runs the County Museum in Taunton and the Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury.

The full list of grants and what the recipients do (or at least did) is below

23 Bath St, Frome£86,246MusicMendipSomerton and Frome
Art Care Education (ACE), Somerton£50,000Visual artsSouth SomersetSomerton and Frome
Black Swan Arts, Frome£54,000Visual artsMendipSomerton and Frome
Dedication Stories Ltd, South Somerset£75,000Visual artsSouth SomersetSomerton and Frome
Frome Cheese and Grain£98,000MusicMendipSomerton and Frome
Midnight Mango Ltd, Moorlinch£66,752MusicSedgemoorBridgwater and West Somerset
Petherton Arts Trust, South Petherton£51,476MusicSouth SomersetYeovil
Somerset Film and Video Ltd, Bridgwater£52,000FilmSedgemoorBridgwater and West Somerset
South West Heritage Trust, Norton Fitzwarren£198,624MuseumsSomerset West and TauntonTaunton Deane
Strode Theatre, Street£246,911TheatreMendipWells
Taunton Theatre Association Ltd£194,015TheatreSomerset West and TauntonTaunton Deane
The International Music Exchange, Wells£50,000MusicMendipWells

This round of funding covers grants of up to £1million, meaning there is a particular focus on smaller organisations that play a central role in their local communities and will help to launch the stars of tomorrow.

The funding will be used to help performances to restart, allow venues plan for reopening, protect jobs and create new opportunities for freelancers. The awards are being made by Arts Council England.

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