Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods, and brings joy to everyone. The UK leads the world in the creative industries and we can all feel pride in that. We are thrilled to announce that Arts Council England have awarded Somerset Film a grant as a part of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund. The fund exists to support organisations in the cultural and heritage sectors that have been affected by Covid-19, by providing enough funds to keep them afloat for 6 months.
With an unprecedented investment through the £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund, the government is #HereForCulture so it can weather the storm of coronavirus and come back stronger. And we are #HereForCulture too. This grant will enable us to fill important roles that have been vacant since March 2020, reinstate the reserves we have tapped into to keep our heads above water, as well as allowing us to develop our business in way that make us more accessible and our future in this ever-changing landscape more secure.
During these difficult months we have had to restructure. Some of us have essentially been working two jobs, and many of us have had to change the kind of work we do altogether, in order to keep supporting our communities. Some of our staff were furloughed, we cut costs wherever and whenever we could, but also had to spend money in order to make our building as covid-19 safe as possible.
We have worked hard to serve our community by delivering tech support sessions for those over 50, free filmmaker support session and offering a free digital skills camp to those who have recently been made redundant. However, we know that there is more we could be doing and more people/communities we could be supporting. This grant will enable us to support the community, the creatives we work with, our staff and building, in a way that is stable and filled with hope.
Today's £257 million grant announcement is the first of two rounds. The Culture Recovery Fund will support a whopping 1300 arts organisations across England and we are incredibly grateful to be one of them.
Deb Richardson, Creative Director at Somerset Film says, "We would like to say a big thank you to the Arts Council England for their support. Seeing how hard the team have worked over the past month without tiring, and working dedicatedly without knowing if or when our time at this wonderful organisation may come to an end, has been a challenge. We know that the future remains uncertain, but this grant has given us hope for the future, and hope is a very real and powerful change-maker. We're so grateful".