BRIDGWATER Guy Fawkes Carnival is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.
The award will help to offset the ongoing costs for the carnival and its associated clubs to help recovery and to prepare for the future.
More than £300 million has been awarded to cultural organisations across the country with Bridgwater Carnival receiving £54,117.
Although Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel its annual carnival festivities for a second year, the organisation and its associated local carnival clubs still face financial expenditure for insurances, utility services, maintenance of premises and the like.
Some of these outlays has depleted the small reserves that carnival had in store and clubs have also relied on the goodwill of some members to help them through this difficult time.
Over £800m in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery.
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival’s chairman, Dave Croker, said: “Covid-19 restrictions have affected the ability of the organising committee and local carnival clubs to raise funds, not just to cover the costs required to stage carnival events and to create the amazing carnival entries, but also to meet our ongoing day-to-day financial commitments. Bills still have to be paid for the likes of insurance, electricity, rent and maintenance.
“Carnival has had to dip into its reserves to meet some of these commitments and this grant will help us to recover from the effects of the pandemic much quicker and prepare for the day when normal carnival activities return.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.
“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”