Council leader welcomes funding boost for BAC

Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

News that Battersea Arts Centre has received a funding boost from Government has been welcomed by Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia.

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Battersea Arts Centre - 'a true cultural icon'

BAC, the borough’s flagship arts and live performance hub, has been awarded £892,000 by Arts Council England with funding from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The funding will support theatres, art galleries, performance groups and cultural venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The money is designed to bring performances back to life, protect jobs in the arts industry, create opportunities for freelancers and help venues plan for reopening.

Yesterday’s announcement (Tuesday) was applauded by Cllr Govindia who called it “a hugely welcome and vital lifeline for a true cultural icon”.

He added: “This funding will play a crucial role in helping BAC overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat until life returns to normality and they are able reopen their doors.

“We are truly blessed in Wandsworth in having such a world class creative arts and cultural institution in the heart of our borough. Supporting our local arts and culture sector is a key priority for the council.”

In a further show of support for BAC, the council has signalled its willingness to extend the existing “peppercorn rent” lease arrangement on the arts centre’s home at Battersea Old Town Hall.

Tarek Iskander BAC’s Artistic Director & CEO said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this vital support from the Treasury and DCMS. It is absolutely critical to our long-term survival and will allow us to look forward with confidence.

“Though we’ve had to close our doors to the public to protect their safety, we are committed to working with our brilliant partners at the Council to ensuring we can inspire and showcase the creativity of all Wandsworth residents, as well as bringing world class theatre, dance, comedy and music to the borough.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This money will get to work right across the country to save these places and protect jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds is on the way for cultural organisations of all sizes that still need our help.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, 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 is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.”