Vital funding for The Spring in the Covid-19 crisis12 October 2020
Today The Spring has received the news that it has been successful in its application for vital government funds via Arts Council England to expand its programme and survive the Covid-19 crisis.
Arts Council England has confirmed that The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant will receive a grant of £94,000 to continue to deliver a wide range of cultural activities for the local community. The funding is part of the £1.57 billion package provided by the government to support the arts sector following the impact of Covid-19. The funds have been awarded to significant cultural organisations across the UK to enable them to survive the pandemic. The Spring is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country to receive support, as part of a £257 million investment as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.
The effect of lockdown and continued need for social distancing has meant that The Spring has lost nearly half its revenue this year. This grant will not only allow The Spring to keep its team of dedicated staff, but also add more to the programme of events available at the centre and continue with activities online for those unable to visit. Since lockdown began, the team has worked hard to deliver new ways for the community to engage with the arts and local heritage, from virtual book clubs and details of plays and shows streaming online to downloadable resources for local walking routes.
Social distancing rules mean that fewer people can attend live events, film screenings and workshops at The Spring, and the numbers allowed by the safety requirements are not enough to cover the costs. The grant will subsidise these activities so that people can continue to enjoy local arts and cultural events as well as a welcome break from the worries of the year. The funding package awarded includes some additional support for Music Fusion, a youth music charity based at The Spring. Music Fusion support young people in Havant experiencing challenging life circumstances by providing an inspiring and supportive environment for learning music.
As well as the previously announced Christmas show, The Selfish Giant, taking place at The Spring in December, part of the funding will be allocated to a special series of free Christmas celebrations. After such a challenging year, the team at The Spring were keen to deliver some Christmas cheer for the whole community to enjoy. The programme of free events will be announced shortly.
Chief Executive of The Spring, Sophie Fullerlove, comments: “We are so grateful to Arts Council England and the DCMS for this grant, which has ensured the survival of The Spring in such a tough year. The funding is a reflection of how important the centre is to the local area and gives us a fighting chance to keep going. I know with the support of my dedicated team and the community, we can continue to provide a wide range of events. None of us know how long this current situation will last, but we know that the arts and culture are a solace to many, so we’re delighted to receive this support. We will also be continuing our Revitalising The Spring campaign until the end of the year as we focus on not just surviving this current crisis, but emerging stronger than ever.”
Every penny raised by the Revitalising The Spring crowdfunding campaign will be put back into the organisation and together with the funds from visitors to the café, museum and the wide range of events, will help secure the future of the arts centre.
Read Sophie's blog about the funding here: