Islington arts groups get £6.6m government Covid boost

The Union Chapel, a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in, in Upper Street, Islington

The Union Chapel, which is a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in centre for the homeless in Islington - Credit: PA

More than 50 arts organisations in Islington have secured over £6.6m in government funding to stay afloat during the pandemic and "survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced".

Funding is part of a £400m pot being dished out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to more than 2,700 cultural and creative organisations nationally, in the second round of the government’s £1.57bn culture recovery fund. 

The aim is to support theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations and local venues to reopen and recover, following the coronavirus lockdown.

The Kings Cross music venue Egg LDN, which operates out of a converted Victorian warehouse, has received the biggest share of funding in Islington, with funding of £622,707.

Money will go towards securing the future of the venue, which has hosted local and international DJs and artists for over 15 years, and has a programme of club nights, comedy, grassroots electronica and drum and bass.


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Meanwhile the Union Chapel music venue in Upper Street has been given £66,652.

The venue’s first live, socially-distanced gig takes place on July 6 with singer Celeste, with profits going to the Margins project to support people who have experienced homelessness. 

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CEO Michael Chandler said: "The funds will go towards helping keep Union Chapel solvent through these ongoing challenging and uncertain times – which helps us continue our vital support and creative programmes for our communities, and towards being able to open again for audiences some time in 2021."

The Union Chapel, a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in, in Upper Street, Islington

The Union Chapel, a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in, in Upper Street, Islington - Credit: PA

The King’ s Head Theatre, also in Upper Street, has been given £155,985.

Its new digital season Plays on Film, was launched this week, which sees five shows filmed at the theatre, available to watch on the venue’s new online platform, KHTV.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

"Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

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