Weston Culture Fund awards over £30m to arts organisations as demand surges past £128m

Image: © Lakeland Arts

More than £30 million has today been awarded to over 100 UK arts organisations by the Garfield Weston Foundation’s one-off Weston Culture Fund, established in response to the impacts of Covid-19.

Recipients of funding include Derby Museums, Nottingham Contemporary and Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, with the full spectrum of awards ranging between £100,000 and £1.5 million dependent on an organisation’s size.

Motivated by the grave need evident throughout the sector, the charity’s Trustees deemed it appropriate to increase the Fund’s offer by 20% from the initial £25 million announced in the autumn.

“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,” notes Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation.

“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.”

Philippa Charles, director of the Garfield Weston Foundation

Even with the larger total of £30,263,670 having been awarded, the Fund didn’t even manage to fulfil a quarter of the overwhelming demand for support – applications from all corners of the creative industries exceeded £128 million.

With this in mind, the Garfield Weston Foundation is encouraging any eligible organisations still facing difficulties to explore its other funding streams. More than £75 million has been distributed through its various channels since April 2020.

“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,” concludes Charles, pointing to the Foundation’s support as a great means to ensure venues “desperate to re-open” can quickly “get back to what they do best”.

A full list of Weston Culture Fund recipients is available here.