Music, arts and theatre venues across the country are due to hear by the end of this month whether they will receive grants under Round 2 of the Arts Council England (ACE) Culture Recovery Fund.

The stated aim is to enable cultural organisations to “transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model during April-June 2021.”

Round 1 was dispensed last autumn, with the De La Warr Pavilion, White Rock Theatre, Hastings Contemporary Gallery, the Piper Arms and Project Artworks all receiving substantial six-figure sums, and the Stables Theatre over £71,000, on the assumption that they were going to adapt their respective outputs to limited Covid-secure provision. In the event, national lockdowns and local tier restrictions have barred any live events for most of the period covered.

ACE say that each recipient is required to report on its use of grants received, including providing certified income and expenditure accounts at the end of the grant period, and that any of these venues that is re-applying under Round 2 will be required to show that that it has been using the first grant “wisely and prudently”. Permission may be requested, however, for an extension of time through the three months April-June to cover eligible expenditure.

It seems likely that there will have been considerably greater numbers of applicants for Round 2 funds than for Round 1, including from the Hastings/Bexhill area, and that amounts offered will be, on average, considerably smaller. However, ACE would not be drawn to comment on
this prediction.

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