The Courtyard is one of over 100 Arts Organisations across the UK awarded over £30m from the new one-off fund to support the cultural sector, set-up by the Weston family in response to the devastating impact of Covid-19.Grants range from £100,000 up to £1.5m based on the size of the organisation.
The Foundation’s Trustees decided to increase the fund to over £30m after seeing the level of creativity and determination from arts organisations who have been hit by the pandemic and are fighting hard to ‘keep the lights on’.
Ian Archer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: “This incredibly important grant will help ensure we can continue to create amazing work and diversify our outreach, to share the benefits of creativity and culture with our community.
We are extraordinarily grateful for such support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, their generosity is a vote of confidence in our plans to reopen, refocus and rebuild.Although there are still obstacles to overcome when recovering from this pandemic, we want to use it as a catalyst for positive change by helping our community come together in new ways to celebrate our county and the huge array of talent and culture we have to offer.”
The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director, Philippa Charles, says: “Our cultural sector is at the heart of our local communities providing not only entertainment but education and inspiration for many. Our Trustees were impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit shown across the arts in response to Covid-19 and it was a privilege to hear what organisations had been doing to not only survive but also to reinvent the way they reach audiences. What really stood out was the level of collaboration and support they had for each other and the determination to keep going, despite the increasingly difficult situation.
We all want and need our cultural sector to thrive and, if anything, our time away from the arts has shown just how important they are to us – bringing much needed pleasure and enrichment to our lives. Arts organisations are desperate to re-open and get back to what they do best, and we hope that this new funding will help many of them do exactly that.”
The additional funding will be going towards participation projects, including mentoring schemes, outreach video content and a rep season, as well as to provide creative wellbeing packs to deliver to the community whilst they cannot access the arts at the venue.
There will also be critical improvements to the venue’s physical and digital infrastructure to ensure The Courtyard is on the front foot when reopening and to enable further digital engagement.
The Courtyard is now heavily reliant on fundraising, as productions have been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 94% of its self-generated income was lost through ticket sales, events, and Café Bar income, as well as facing thousands of refunds.