Sadler’s Wells gets £1.5 million grant to stave off financial collapse over the summer

Sadler's Wells. Picture: Google Maps

Sadler's Wells. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

Sadler’s Wells Theatre has been given an emergency £1,500,000 grant to help it stay afloat over the summer.

The national contemporary dance venue in Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, has received the largest sum from Arts Council England’s (ACE) £33m fund to save 196 arts venues deemed to be at risk during coronavirus pandemic.

ACE has already made £90 million available in March for organisations in its national portfolio which are considered a key part of England’s cultural ecology, producing work for the public to enjoy, employing and commissioning thousands of people and supporting small companies through supply chains.

Since then, the government’s job retention scheme has helped stave off financial collapse until the autumn for most of the organisations facing significant long-term financial challenges.

The latest programme is aimed at venues that could demonstrate a need for urgent funding before the end of September.

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External financial consultants were brought in to scrutinise applications for larger amounts of funding, and decisions on any funding request for over £1 million were proposed to and signed off by the National Council.

Only The Design Museum in Kensington with £997,111, The Lowry in Salford with £1,300,000 and the English National Ballet with £1,305,000 received grants which came anywhere close to the amount awarded to Sadler’s Wells.

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Alistair Spalding, artistic director and CEO, welcomed the grant: “This support recognises the financial peril Sadler’s Wells and other organisations in our sector are experiencing as a result of coronavirus lockdowns. “These funds will help to keep us afloat until the end of September. Coupled with the government’s rescue package for the arts sector announced earlier this week, it gives us some assurance to begin planning for the future. “However uncertainty remains, as we do not yet know when we can safely reopen, which is critical for our ability to generate income and to ensure the support packages can be as impactful as possible for a full return of Sadler’s Wells and the sector.”

Create London in Silk Street, also in Islington, which works with artists to launch new social enterprises, charities and cultural spaces, received £16,613.

The awards are part of a £160 million emergency response package, funded by National Lottery players and government.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of ACE, said: “Culture, creativity and the arts are a fundamental part of our country’s identity – they bring joy, fulfilment and shared experience and help boost people’s health and wellbeing.

“Our National Portfolio Organisations play a crucial role in providing opportunities for people across England to enjoy culture, and this funding will ensure that they are able to continue their work through the summer.”

He thanked the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and HM Treasury for their collaboration.

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