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Lowestoft firm Scenic Projects Ltd of Lowestoft receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Scenic Projects has been awarded £250,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Scenic Projects is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced today. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

The company designs and builds stage scenery to over 600 theatre companies around the United Kingdom including 50 professional pantomimes.   

The companies work came to an immediate standstill at the start of the pandemic in March. 

At that time all staff were immediately furloughed, and contractors stood down.  Sadly, the company had to make 14 loyal and dedicated members of staff redundant when there was no clear sign of the core business recommencing.

A small team of staff have been kept on and are working on two design and build projects for Marella Cruise lines and QDOS Pantomimes Pantoland at the London Palladium.  These two projects however only represent 20% of the annual turnover of the business.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations.

“These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries. 

“This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

The Managing Director of Scenic Projects, Mr Nicholas Garrod said the governments Culture Recovery Fund has thrown an essential lifeline to our business to see it over the next 6 month and to help us recover when for when theatres fully re open.  It has been a very difficult time for the business and loss of some of our key staff has been devastating. 

He said, we are not anticipating the full recovery to start until the Autumn next year as we head towards the Pantomime Season 2021.  We would like to thank the Government, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Arts Council for their confidence in the ongoing viability of our company and in particular our MP, Peter Aldous who has been a tremendous support to the business over the past few months.