Almost 40 creative organisations have benefited from Croydon’s Cultural Relief Fund so they can continue their work despite the impact of Covid-19.
Croydon Council launched the £135,000 Cultural Relief Fund in April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, offering support for groups who were not eligible for other schemes, or could not deliver projects without this critical funding.
The funding was allocated to 38 organisations over three rounds, and it has provided help with programming and emergency funding to cover administrative costs.
Grants ranged from £1,500 to £7,500, with world-class Croydon-based theatre organisations such as Talawa Theatre Company and award-winning Savvy Theatre Company able to move productions online and share their stories with a wider audience. This autumn, Talawa will launch Tales from the Front Line, which uses interviews from Black key and frontline workers to explore the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the most affected communities.
SAVVY’s Mixed Bean Season has been delivered online since the start of lockdown, creating an ambitious, inclusive summer programme of productions after their theatre space at Fairfield Halls temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.
As a direct result of the Croydon Cultural Relief Fund, Birdgang – a leading UK creative company – managed to keep their base at Stanley Halls. They were commissioned by BBC Arts and Arts Council England to produce a dance film under lockdown conditions at the Halls. The piece, Flying Home, has been available on BBC iPlayer since Wednesday 8 July and brings cutting-edge choreography to the nation’s screens as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative.
Kendra Horsburgh, Managing Director of Birdgang Ltd, said: “Thanks to the Culture Relief Funding we are able to keep our home at Stanley Halls and continue being able to create output and house our 58 artists for training, and/or just moral support and mentorship during this time. Although we have not been physically there, we were able to shoot our BBC commission film there – under Covid-19 conditions of course.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
“We cherish Croydon’s vibrant cultural community, which is why the council is working to ensure the sector can continue to thrive. Many of these businesses could easily have fallen through the cracks, as they were ineligible for many of the larger government support schemes available at the time.
“By stepping up and offering this funding, we have been able ensure that our borough’s independent artists and freelancers are not forgotten.”
Croydon’s Cultural Relief Fund included council funding diverted from the Cultural Partnership and Youth Arts Funds, both of which are now suspended, and Greater London Authority (GLA) funding, awarded to Croydon as part of its Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) grant.
A complete list of organisations that have received council funding can be found on our website at: www.croydon.gov.uk/community/advice/tsfunding/funding/croydon-culture-relief-fund