Cropredy Convention receives £200k lifeline grant from Culture Recovery Fund

The annual festival was cancelled in April but has today been awarded £200,000 to help secure its future.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 11:13 pm
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 11:18 pm
Fans watch Tors perform at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in 2019. Photo by David Jackson

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention music festival has been awarded £200,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus.

Cropredy is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country to today receive money as part of the first round of the grants programme which is being administered by Arts Council England.

Cropredy’s Organiser Gareth Williams said: “We have all seen how hard this Covid pandemic has hit the festival industry - 2020 has basically been a write-off.

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Frank Turner performing at Cropredy Convention in 2019. Photo by David Jackson

“This most welcome grant from the CRF secures the future of our festival for 2021 and will help us cover any additional costs of providing extra safety measures we will need to put in place next summer. We can now plan ahead for 2021 with fresh confidence.”

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention has been held annually in the village of Cropredy on the Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire border since 1979 and has grown from a few hundred fans of folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention to a 20,000-capacity event.

Local businesses, associations and charities benefit each year from the income Cropredy festival-goers provide. This year’s festival was postponed in April.

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.

Fairport Convention performing at Cropredy Convention in 2019. Photo by David Jackson

“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.”

Today, music venues in the region including the Roadmender in Northampton, Esquires in Bedford and the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes all announced their funding applications had been successful.

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

The chairman of Arts Council England, Nicholas Serota, added: “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.”