Will Chesterfield’s cultural venues benefit from Government rescue package?

Council chiefs hope they will be able to bid for a share of Government funding to help keep Chesterfield’s cultural venues afloat.

By Michael Broomhead
Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 9:33 am

On Monday, the Government announced a £1.57billion rescue package for culture, arts and heritage organisations in Britain – including theatres, museums, independent cinemas and the live music sector.

In Chesterfield, the Pomegranate and Winding Wheel theatres and the town’s museum have been closed since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The town's Winding Wheel Theatre.

It has not yet been revealed when the Chesterfield Borough Council-run venues will be able to reopen.

Councillor Kate Sarvent, the council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, welcomed the Government’s rescue package – but said it was not yet known if the authority’s cultural venues would be able to apply for cash.

She told the Derbyshire Times: “The Government’s announcement of a £1.57bn package of support for the arts, culture and heritage sector in the UK is to be welcomed.

“We are hopeful that Chesterfield Borough Council’s cultural venues will be eligible to apply for a share of the funding, but there is currently no clarity on whether this will be the case.

Chesterfield's Pomegranate Theatre.

“Income from ticket sales, bar sales and venue hire are integral to the survival of Chesterfield’s Pomegranate and Winding Wheel theatres while Chesterfield Museum depends on donations, shop sales, group bookings and education and memory loan box hire.

“We cannot see these critical income streams being turned back on any time soon – and the council still, of course, has to meet the day-to-day costs of managing and operating the venues.

“Let us hope that the Government’s guidelines, when issued, will mean that support will be available to help the council to continue to provide these much valued cultural venues for the benefit of Chesterfield’s communities,” she added.

Last month it emerged the council had secured a funding boost of £35,000 from the Arts Council Emergency Response Fund to support the Pomegranate and Winding Wheel theatres for when they do finally reopen.

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