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News: Customs House to receive £125,000 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund


The Customs House to receive £125,000 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Customs House in South Shields has received a grant of £125,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Customs House in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The Customs House is a charity and every penny of its profit is reinvested to help support the local community, deliver education projects, nurture new creative talent and maintain the Grade II listed building it’s situated in

This grant will help sustain The Customs House’s future post-Covid, programme new work and make repair to the building including new roof and boiler.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

 Customs House Executive Director Ray Spencer said: “We are incredibly grateful for this grant which will allow us to open the house to all the community to take part, watch and create great art.”

Customs House Fellows have also offered their congratulations.

Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall said: “The Customs House has a special place in my heart so I'm really delighted this grant will help secure its future. It's so important for South Tyneside and it’s wonderful to see our arts centres being able to work towards opening again.”

Comedian and presenter Chris Ramsey said: “I’m delighted to see The Customs House has received government support to help them re-open after the pandemic. We all need theatre in our life. I look forward to performing live to full houses again soon.”

Once the Road to Recovery dates were announced stand-up comedian, script-writer and one of The Customs House Academy’s first fellows Jason Cook was first in line to put shows on sale. The popular comedy club sees The Customs House sell out twice a month, every month. He added: “This will help boost the return of participation, not only by those who like a giggle but to those who want to get out and get involve in the arts, sharing with others in our fantastic venues, including my personal favourite The Customs House.”

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 grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute. 

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