Compton Verney receives lifeline grant of £980,000 from government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park has been awarded £980,000 as part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Compton Verney located between the villages of Kineton and WellesbourneCompton Verney located between the villages of Kineton and Wellesbourne
Compton Verney located between the villages of Kineton and Wellesbourne

In March 2020 Compton Verney closed its doors to the public, meaning earned income immediately reduced by 95 per cent.

Since then, Compton Verney has reopened the grounds (June) and the galleries (July), under a socially distanced model. However, event, hire, corporate sponsorship and events, wedding, retail and catering income continue to be devastated by the pandemic.

The Culture Recovery Fund grant will be used to support the Re-powering Compton Verney project, and will focus on audience engagement, establishing new ways to attract students, children and young people, families and those with access needs.

The grant will also support business development, the implementation of a new catering offer (by April 2021), support to the winter programme across the site, full winter opening to provide access to collections and the grounds through to March 2021.

The collections will be researched and explored, new narratives developed and links to more diverse audiences made. The grounds will be developed through artistic redesign of the play area. The grant also includes income to offset losses on the bottom line.

Compton Verney is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.

Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Compton Verney CEO Director Julie Finch said: “This is excellent news, the government has thoughtfully, through DCMS and ACE supported the cultural sector, the economic argument for support for culture has been made, but cultural instituations form the texture of the nation, of society, places and support an expansive supply chain, which are all being supported too.

"We want culture to continue to play its part in the Covid recovery phase and well beyond. This funding is a lifeline for Compton Verney. We will continue our hard work to support society through learning, wellbeing and cultural engagement as we navigate our way through this extremely challenging time.

"We are grateful to our visitors, communities, our partners and suppliers who have remained loyal to Compton Verney.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

"These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

The chair of Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences.

"Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Compton Verney was also successful in receiving £223,500 from National Lottery Heritage Emergency Funds in order to provide the grounds offer to December 2021.

For more information about the workshops and lectures, plus current and future exhibitions visit the website comptonverney.org.uk

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