We are thrilled to announce that the Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue have been awarded vital funding as part of the second round of funding from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund on behalf of Arts Council England.
The Octagon and Westlands will receive a combined grant of £165,000 to cover activity and operations through from April to June 2021, from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Funding received will help protect the future of our venues as we continue to offer access to the arts, culture and film for residents across the South West, plus ensuring we can continue to offer live productions and cinema screenings at the venues once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The grant is very welcome support for both venues, which since the 26th of December have remained closed to the public in line with Government restrictions imposed due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The grant allocated will protect jobs and retain skills within the industry, whilst ensuring the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers within the venues once we are able to reopen.
This award is in addition to the grant received for the Octagon and Westlands for the 6-month period from October 2020 – March 2021 as awarded by Arts Council England (ACE) and British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the DCMS. The global pandemic has greatly impacted the arts and entertainment industry and the Government’s Culture Recovery Funding is very welcome support to protect cultural organisations across the country.
We are extremely grateful for the support the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England have shown our venues over this past year, and look forward to a time when current restrictions ease and we can open our doors once again.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.”
We are again very thankful for the support we have received from the community, from our colleagues and Foyer Club volunteers who have continued to donate their time to our success and to the patrons who have shown their support for the venues when restrictions have allowed indoor arts and entertainment venues to operate.
The Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue are both managed and funded by South Somerset District Council who continue to provide unwavering support of the arts.
Arts and Entertainment Venue Manager, Adam Burgan, said “The Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue have always been places where we can bring our community together to share great events and live entertainment. The period since March 2020 has been very worrying and difficult and while we have always tried to do whatever we can to continue being there for our communities this funding helps to protect the venues and people who work so hard to bring joy, entertainment and hope. It will help to ensure we can continue to be there for our audience, now and in the future”.
The Culture Recovery Fund is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.