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340 organisations share the final wave of funding, with over a third receiving support for the first time.

The Piece Hall in Halifax
The Piece Hall in Halifax received £1.35m in the final CRF round

Steven Haslington

340 organisations across England have shared £35m in the final round of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF).

Arts Council England awarded 303 of the grants, while the National Lottery Heritage Fund and British Film Institute awarded over £3.6m to 37 cinemas, churches and trusts.

The fund, designed to help organisations overcome the challenge of Covid-19, has now distributed £1.57bn to some 5,000 organisations and attractions since August 2020.


Music venues, theatres, galleries and museums affected by the Omicron variant over winter were given grants in the final funding round, DCMS says, with funding enabling organisations to keep operating, support jobs and contribute to local economies.

More first-time grantees are on the list than in prior rounds. Over a third of organisations are receiving CRF support for the first time, compared to 6% in November’s wave.

Over 80 music organisations are represented, led by a grant of £394,170 for Camden’s TDC Concepts Limited.

64 theatre companies share £7.4m, most notably £614,461 for London’s Chocolate Factory Productions which runs Southwark's Menier Chocolate Factory, and £500,242 for Leeds Theatre Trust.

Of the seven museums awarded funds, Gainsborough House and Aerospace Bristol received the largest grants, with the former receiving CRF money for the first time.

Aerospace Bristol Executive Director Lloyd Burnell says the £130,000 awarded to them will allow the museum to stay open and continue its programme and conservation work.

“We’re enormously grateful for this crucial grant and it’s fantastic to now see the results of this support.”

Largest awards

The largest grant went to Halifax’s The Piece Hall, the only remaining Grade-I listed Georgian cloth hall in the world.

Chief Executive Nicky Chance-Thompson said the £1.35m will ensure the site remains free to enter, as well as protecting jobs and funding conservation repairs.

“It has become increasingly clear that heritage and culture both play a vital role in supporting our emotional and economic well-being, and we look forward to bringing some much-needed fun and joy back to visitors.”

Cheltenham Festivals received the second largest grant. £937,254 will be put towards the event organiser’s festival calendar, including the Cheltenham Music Festival.

Regional variation

Following a pattern from previous rounds, London received the most money. 

More than £11.3m was split across 95 organisations in the capital, compared to £4m across 21 in the West Midlands, the second most awarded region.

Over half of the £4m spent in the West Midlands was allocated to City of Culture 2021 winner Coventry, most of it through grants of £985,875 to Christie Lites Coventry Limited and £950,000 to Coventry City of Culture Trust.

The East of England, South East, South West and Yorkshire and the Humber all received between £3m and £4m.

The North West and North East received £2.7m and £1.5m respectively while £805,000 was split across 15 organisations in the East Midlands.

Previous rounds were criticised for a disproportionate allocation of funds going to more advantaged areas.

ACE Chair Nicholas Serota says the CRF ensures everyone has access to a range of high-quality cultural experiences, wherever they are in the country.

“The £35m awarded is helping to support the sector as it continues to welcome back visitors, reinvigorate communities [and] champion local talent.”