Slough Borough Council has been awarded £65,508 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure a sustainable arts future, the Culture Secretary has announced.
The council is just one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. Investment of £257 million has been announced as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England.
The funding awarded to Slough Borough Council is to help protect the future viability of The Curve through a number of adaptations to the Venue. This will enable future shows and events to be more adaptable to the challenges of Covid-19.
Changes include upgrading the current bench seating in the Venue to individual seating to enable social distancing, the purchase of camera equipment and improvements in existing fixed camera spot to allow for live streaming from the Venue and purchasing additional performer’s microphones and mobile sound and lighting desks to give more flexibility in how shows are put on.
The team is working hard to make Venue at The Curve as safe and inviting as possible to welcome back audiences over the coming season.
A special version of the well-loved pantomime is planned this December and the team is working with the regular pantomime producer DK proDuKtions. This year’s pantomime is Jack and the Beanstalk.
To keep audiences safe, the audience size will be reduced to allow for adequate social distancing. The pantomime will be a specially created and filmed version of the show for Slough, screened at The Curve over the weekend of 12 & 13 December and hosted by two pantomime characters, Jack and The Dame, live in the Venue. There will plenty of the usual pantomime joy and excitement – tickets will go on sale shortly. Check out The Curve website for more details www.thecurveslough.com.
Cllr James Swindlehurst, council leader, said: “The Curve is such a special place in Slough for our residents to visit and we are delighted to receive funding support from the Cultural Recovery Fund to enable shows and events to be made safer and more accessible for our audiences.
“Making these adaption will enable us to reopen The Curve in a safe way in due course and we look forward to welcoming audiences back to the Venue.”
Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”