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West Norfolk groups welcome £320k of coronavirus culture grants




Arts and heritage organisations in West Norfolk have been awarded more than £320,000 of grants in the latest round of support from the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

The scheme was established last year to help venues recover and re-open following the coronavirus shutdown.

Five West Norfolk groups and venues have been given support in a new round of grants announced today, which are intended to help prepare for re-opening during the spring and summer.

The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn was lit up yellow, to mark last month's National Day of Reflection. Picture: Ian Burt. (45706619)
The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn was lit up yellow, to mark last month's National Day of Reflection. Picture: Ian Burt. (45706619)

The biggest beneficiary in our area is Lynn's Corn Exchange, which has been given £124,000.

It's the second grant for the theatre, which received just under £250,000 in the initial allocation of funding last October.

The venue is currently being used as a mass vaccination centre and hasn't hosted a live show for more than a year.

King's Lynn Festival (44437407)
King's Lynn Festival (44437407)

Neil Gromett, managing director of the venue's operator, Alive West Norfolk, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this much needed funding from the second round of the Governments Culture Recovery Fund.

"Alive Corn Exchange remains a hugely important cultural venue in our town, and this funding will allow us to make future plans, and continue to offer a rich and varied cultural programme to our local community when we re-open."

Traditionally, the Corn Exchange hosts a number of shows during the annual King's Lynn Festival, which has itself been awarded £67,348.

Organisers are hoping to stage the 70th anniversary festival this summer, subject to Covid restrictions, after the 2020 programme was scrapped due to the pandemic.

Hunstanton Princess Theatre
Hunstanton Princess Theatre

Elsewhere, Hunstanton's Princess Theatre has been given a further £60,421, on top of more than £82,000 it received last autumn.

And the Garage Trust, which runs The Workshop in Lynn's New Conduit Street, has received £54,974.

Executive director Adam Taylor said: “The pandemic’s been tough. Our doors may have been closed but we’ve been working hard for our future and for the people who benefit from the work we do.

True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum
True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum

"Thanks to continued support and our amazing team’s dedication we’ve been able to trade at full capacity, albeit online.

"The funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will mean The Garage Trust’s charitable work with young people facing real challenges can continue at both sites until we’re able to open once more.

"The cultural sector will bounce back and we’re really looking forward to inviting everybody back.”

And there is a further grant of £15,600 for the North End Trust, which runs the True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum.

Trust chairman Dr Paul Richards said: “The grant is a major boost which enables True’s Yard to move forward with confidence on a sound financial footing as the Museum celebrates its 30th year serving the community.”



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