LOCAL arts organisations from theatres to a brass band have been handed a lifeline with the announcement of emergency funding from the Arts Council.

For most arts organisations 2020 has been bleak - with lockdown meaning many have seen their work grind to a halt.

Yesterday Arts Council England announced a package of support from arts groups across the country, and around £2 million will go to Bradford groups.

This includes almost £900,000 to Bradford Theatres, £200,000 to Bradford museums and £76,000 to Queensbury based Black Dyke Band - one of Yorkshire's top brass bands.

A city centre live music venue and a disability theatre group have also received funding.

Yesterday's announcement supported 1,385 arts and cultural organisations across the country - a total of £257 million in grants as part of a financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

Referring to the Bradford funding, the Arts Council said the money will "help save theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, to ensure they have a sustainable future and continue to bring joy to local communities and international audiences."

Skipton Town Hall receives more than £66,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The full list of local groups getting funded.

Artworks Creative Communities - £50,707

Black Dyke Band - £76,080

Bradford Museums & Galleries - £208,536

Bradford Theatres - £894,423

Culture Squared CIC - £139,707

Fuse Art Space CIC - £66,250

Kala Sangam - The Academy of South Asian Performing Arts - £123,000

Mind the Gap - £150,000

Nightrain Entertainment Ltd - £143,255

Stage 84 Performing Arts Ltd - £50,000

The Stage Management Company Ltd - £50,000

Thornton and Allerton Community Association, the group behind South Square Centre in Thornton - £52,592

The Bronte Society (which runs the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth) - £119,200

Bradford Theatres in the umbrella group for Bradford Council run theatres - the Alhambra Theatre, St George’s Hall, The Studio in the city centre, and King’s Hall and Winter Garden in Ilkley.

The theatres have suffered a massive hit since lockdown began. The funding will mean that Bradford Theatres can continue its education and outreach work, offering local students engagement opportunities.

"Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “The announcement today is very good news for our historic and award-winning venues. This investment will mean that our highly skilled and adaptable staff can continue their work to ensure the venues can be enjoyed by many future generations in our district.

“It’s very exciting to know that we will be able to continue to offer opportunities for residents in our district to access our programme and venues. We’re very much looking forward to being able to welcome our loyal audiences back in the future.”

The funding for the museums and galleries service will be used to develop online platforms and activities, as well as maintaining links with communities.

The pandemic led to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth shutting for the longest period in its 92 year history.

Trish Gurney, Chair of the Brontë Society Board of Trustees, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever found ourselves in. 

"There is still some uncertainty ahead but the award from the Culture Recovery Fund means we can face the future with more confidence and ensure that we can continue to fulfil our mission to bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire.

"We are very grateful to Arts Council England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their award and for the public recognition of our contribution to culture in the UK.”

Nightrain - a live music venue in the city centre specialising in hard rock, has said the funding will help the venue keep operating into 2021.

Mind the Gap’s Executive Director, Julia Skelton, said: “Mind the Gap is delighted to be awarded this vital DCMS grant funding totalling £150,000.

"Our sector has been badly affected by the impacts of the pandemic and we recognise that we are privileged to have been awarded a share of the Culture Recovery Fund. 

"We will ensure that this is invested in targeted ways so that it benefits learning-disabled artists and their work for the long-term as well as tackling immediate priorities. Our plans are particularly focused on creative activities within our home base of Bradford, including new innovations using digital technologies, and supporting freelance artists and small organisations who face particular challenges right now.”

The funding for Kala Sangam will help secure jobs of the staff team and support freelance artists from the Bradford region to create and develop their work. 

Alex Croft, Creative Director, said, ‘This funding will allow Kala Sangam to navigate what we know is going to be a really difficult Winter so we’re immensely grateful to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

"At the same time, we know that many amazing arts organisations haven’t received much needed support, and we know that things remain extremely challenging for artists across the region and beyond.

"This funding means we’ll be able to offer ongoing support – including financial – to artists and organisations in the Bradford District, to try and make sure as many creatives are able to survive the current crisis, and are best placed to thrive once this is all over."

Other groups benefitting include Pennine Prospects, which was given £436,400. The group is the regeneration agency for the South Pennines and carries out work in Bradford and Keighley.