Witcombe Festival receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Monday 12th October 2020 13:00

Witcombe Festival has been awarded funding 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.

Witcombe Festival is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Joe Pointon, Founder of Witcombe Festival, said of the news: “We are delighted to be one of the many fortunate festivals across the country to receive financial support from Arts Council England and the CRF, at what has been an extremely difficult time for our festival in Gloucestershire and many across the country.”

“Our festival is a huge event in the local calendar, and making the decision to cancel this year’s event had huge financial impacts for us and also had massive social impact for our thousands of regular festival goers who attend year after year. Supporting the sector until next year will also kick-start other parts of the supply chain. Survival, and a healthy festival market in 2021, will result in artists being booked, sites and stages being built and money being spent by the public. We are looking forward to coming back in 2021 with the biggest and best festival we can put on.”

The Witcombe Festival has been growing rapidly since it started in 2012 with only 200 festival goers on Witcombe Cricket Field. Fast forward 8 years and in 2019 Witcombe Festival at the new bigger site on Brockworth Road with over 20,000 people attended.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden 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.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, 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.”

The Witcombe Festival brings a significant amount of money to the local economy, bringing trade to the local shops, hotels and amenities as well as employing hundreds of staff directly or indirectly because of the festival. The festival provides community cohesion and charity fundraising and engagement, and is one of the most important events in the social calendar for the region.