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Garfield Weston Foundation Gives Over £30 Million To More Than 100 Arts Organisations Across The UK

Some of those receiving funding from the Foundation include the National Theatre, Ballet Black, Paraorchestra, Lakeland Arts, and more!

Garfield Weston Foundation Gives Over £30 Million To More Than 100 Arts Organisations Across The UK

Over a hundred cultural organisations across the UK are being awarded over £30m from a new one-off fund to support the cultural sector set-up by the Weston family in response to the devastating impact of Covid-19. The Weston Culture Fund is supporting a diverse range of organisations from museums to regional theatres to national touring ballet companies.

Some of those receiving funding from the Foundation include The National Theatre, Ballet Black, Paraorchestra, Lakeland Arts, Northern Ballet and the NoFit State Circus. 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'.

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."

Lisa Burger, Executive Director, National Theatre, notes:

"We are incredibly grateful for such extraordinary support from the Garfield Weston Foundation. Although the pandemic continues to pose very serious challenges, this transformational gift is a huge vote of confidence in our plans to rebuild our activities, reopen our theatres, and will enable us to reimagine our future as a National Theatre for everyone."

Northern Ballet is one of the UK's leading touring ballet companies but when the pandemic hit touring productions were paused, making reaching audiences digitally all the more important. Chief Executive, Mark Skipper says the £600,000 grant will make a real difference.

"We are incredibly grateful to the Weston Culture Fund for awarding us this game-changing grant which will enable us to film and distribute our new full-length ballet Merlin, and our next children's ballet, both of which will première this autumn.

This grant will enable us to significantly increase our digital output for years to come, reaching millions more young people and adults in the UK and internationally, breaking down barriers to dance and ensuring ballet is accessible to everyone, everywhere."

The NoFit State Circus in Cardiff has been awarded £276,000. Its Artistic Director, Tom Rack says:

"The support from the Weston Culture Fund changes everything. It is the difference between just surviving the next 12 months, to ensuring a creative future post Covid. This support gets us so much closer to welcoming our artists and audiences back to the big top."

The Foundation highlighted that its regular funding streams are still open and it very much welcomes applications across all areas of its grant programmes. Since April 2020, the Foundation has given away over £75 million in funding to support charities across the UK.

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