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The Cheltenham Trust receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

The Cheltenham Trust has been awarded £852,161 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

The money will mitigate the impact of the significant loss of revenue, of around £1m, since Cheltenham Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room had to close in March in line with government Covid19 restrictions. The award will help to support the ongoing recovery of both venues, the town hall has partially reopened but with massively reduced audience capacity. Reduced capacities mean it is not financially viable to reopen Pittville Pump Room to the public at this time, however the outdoor Heritage Café which opened in late June continues to operate and will do so all year round.

The Cheltenham Trust is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of 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.

Cheltenham Town Hall is Cheltenham’s leading entertainment and cultural venue staging around 200 shows and events each year welcoming audiences of up to 1,000 people. Capacity has been significantly reduced to less than a quarter due to the coronavirus social distancing regulations impacting on the viability of productions and performances.

Pittville Pump Room hosts a range of cultural events such as concerts and performances which have been halted since March and for the foreseeable future.

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, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“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.”

 Louis Eperjesi, chairman of the board of trustees of The Cheltenham Trust, said:

The Cheltenham Trust is delighted to have been awarded this lifeline that will help with the continued recovery and ongoing revival of both Cheltenham Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room.

The last seven months have been incredibly difficult for the charity and while we have been pro-active in rescheduling shows and hires and identifying every opportunity to generate income this has been an incredibly stressful time for everyone in managing the most challenging time that the Trust has ever faced.

“We have been working in close partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, our lead partner, to do everything possible to safeguard the future of these iconic venues which contribute so much to the cultural landscape of Cheltenham and to ensure future sustainability of The Cheltenham Trust.”

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