Sheffield culture chiefs welcome "important" £1.5m funding for arts as they prepare to reopen cinemas, theatres and more

Culture chiefs in Sheffield have welcomed an “important” £1.5 million cash injection which will help the arts scene survive and evolve as they prepare to reopen city venues.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 1:19 pm
Sheffield Theatres Chief Executive, Dan Bates. Picture: Chris Etchells

Grants have now been awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from the second round of its £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

A total of £754,000 is being given to Sheffield Theatres Ltd. Its Crucible theatre is to host the World Snooker Championships in May as a national pilot event, testing the theatre setting to pave the way for larger crowds being permitted as the Covid-19 lockdown eases.

Dan Bates, chief executive of Sheffield Theatres, said the theatre needed support after being closed for 13 months, and the money would also help them to work with new companies as well as employing freelancers.

Ian Wild chief executive of Sheffield's Showroom Cinema. Picture Scott Merrylees

He told the Telegraph: “I think this funding is really important. The whole of the cultural scene across the city has been decimated, museums, cinemas and galleries have all been closed. It’s vital to helping us all get going as quickly as possible.

"The pandemic has brought us all closer together, we talk more and are exchanging ideas about reopening safely.”

Sheffield’s Showroom cinema has been awarded £174,916 to reopen and encourage audiences to return.

Ian Wild, chief executive, said it was a “fantastic boost” ahead of the cinema’s planned reopening on May 17.

He added: “It is really vital to allow us to keep going. Apart from six weeks last autumn we have been closed for over a year now. We cannot wait to reopen.”

The cinema has been refurbished and will reopen with reduced capacity, and social distancing.

Sheffield’s Music in the Round is also set to receive £42,200. The money will be used to buy bespoke equipment to present the annual Sheffield Chamber Music Festival online in May.

Executive director Jo Towler said: “This means we can give our audiences an amazing high-quality online festival, broadcasting music and events from our Crucible Studio home into homes across the world.”

Another £159,100 was awarded to Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust, £551,714 to Sheffield City Trust.