Mayflower Theatre in Southampton handed £3m grant from Culture Recovery Fund to secure future

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The Mayflower Theatre has been awarded a £3 million grant from the government to ensure its future during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southampton theatre is one of 35 major cultural organisations across the country to receive funding – between £1 million and £3 million – from the Culture Recovery Fund.

It follows a £334 million package handed out earlier this month to nearly 2,000 organisations, including Portsmouth Guildhall, Mary Rose Museum and Wedgewood Rooms.

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More rounds of funding from the programme, which is administered by Arts Council England, will be announced in the next few weeks.

Mayflower Theatre, SouthamptonMayflower Theatre, Southampton
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Michael Ockwell, Mayflower Theatre Chief Executive said: ‘We are delighted to receive this essential financial support from the Culture Recovery Fund. This means we can continue to offer cultural activity in the local and regional community throughout the closure period.

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‘As a venue that does not normally receive any funding, our aim has been to support other cultural and community organisations and we can continue to host a variety of events and commit to a season of socially distanced productions until we are able to open again to full capacity.

‘This funding means we can build from a solid platform and contribute to the social and economic recovery that our region will need over the coming months.’

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The grants have been a welcome boost for Hampshire cultural and arts venues, many of which have had to stay closed since the pandemic started in March.

While some places have been able to open for visitors, other venues such as theatres have been prevented from putting on indoor performances.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘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.’

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