The New Theatre Royal Lincoln has been awarded up to £600,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).
The award was given to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.
The New Theatre Royal is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment was announced this week 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.
Opening in 1893, the Grade II listed New Theatre Royal has been entertaining audiences for over 125 years. From children’s theatre and comedy, to live music and the hugely popular Easter and Christmas Pantomimes (the latter of which saw 2019’s Christmas Pantomime ‘Robin Hood’ as one of only five productions nominated for the Great British Pantomime Awards’ prestigious “Best Show” award (for venues under 750 seats)); the New Theatre Royal is a linchpin in Lincoln’s art and culture scene, entertaining up to 100,000 people each year.
Under the new ownership of Natalie and Michael Hayes-Cowley, since 2016, the theatre has seen significant improvements including renovations to the Box Office and bar areas. And whilst this funding will provisionally help cover the theatre’s high running costs, the theatre plans to make further improvements to ensure every patron’s future visit is more enjoyable and memorable.
“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,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
“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.”
Chair, 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.”
Natalie Hayes-Cowley, New Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director, said: “We are so grateful and relieved to have received this funding, it is incredible news for the New Theatre Royal, and for the arts and culture landscape across Lincolnshire.
“This money will help cover running costs, it will help keep staff employed, and it will help us be ready to open the doors for our wonderful patrons when the time comes.
“This gives the New Theatre Royal a chance to stay on the map, so everyone can continue to enjoy everything that this beautiful venue has to offer for years to come.”