The Crafts Council is among a group of craft-focused organisations that will receive a lifeline from the government as part of its £1.57bn fund for cultural organisations hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many others, we have suffered a devastating financial blow this year because of restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. The £353,846 grant from the Arts Council England’s Culture Recovery Fund will go towards plugging this shortfall and ensuring we can meet the challenges ahead.
This money will help support the delayed opening of the brand new Crafts Council Gallery in London on 19 November, and its inaugural exhibition of work by some of the finest craft graduates in 2020. It will also help us continue to offer advice to craft businesses and widen people’s access to the therapeutic benefits of craft, as well as bolstering our plans to enhance our digital presence and develop a bigger audience for craft.
Several craft organisations around England will also receive grants – which are earmarked for cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk. In London, open-access studios Blackhorse Workshop in Walthamstow will get £50,000, while in Vauxhall contemporary craft and design retailer Handmade in Britain will receive £77,904. In the south-west, Leach Pottery in St Ives will receive £58,335, while the Devon based Craft Festival will get £50,000. ‘Thanks to the support of the Government’s #CultureRecoveryFund we can continue to face the challenges of coronavirus and be here for our visitors and communities,’ the Leach Pottery said on Twitter.
Large grants went to organisations in the south-east, including travelling Cabaret Mechanical Theatre (£160,000), the Farnham Maltings Association in Surrey (£165,912) and the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft in Lewes (£98,000), as well as Clayspace Studios in Thanet (£57,857).
Liverpool’s Bluecoat Display Centre (£63,250) and Manchester’s Craft And Design Centre (£80,030) were among the recipients in the north-west, and in Yorkshire, grants will go to the West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Kirklees (£50,000) and the Leeds Craft Centre (£50,000). ‘The grant will allow us to continue to bring you the very best of contemporary craft!’ Tweeted the Leeds Crafts Centre.
Overall, 1,385 cultural and creative organisations have received funds in the £257m first round of the Culture Recovery Fund announcements. Further rounds of funding will be announced over the coming weeks.