Government gives £1 million boost to Wigmore Hall

Government gives £1 million boost to Wigmore Hall


norman lebrecht

October 12, 2020

‘First details of the dishing out of £257 million of Rishi’s cash reveals:

£1 million for Wigmore Hall, which has listed 100 events between now and Christmas. ‘We are working very hard to bring artists and audiences back to Wigmore Hall and this government injection of funds is a great first step for our national cultural life which is so much part of our national identity. However, this crisis could go on and on. There is no end yet in sight and further help for the arts will be needed right through the UK, especially for freelance musicians and artists who have lost so much.’ John Gilhooly, Director, Wigmore Hall


£846,000 for the  London Symphony Orchestra to deliver ‘phased return to full-scale performance’. Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of London Symphony Orchestra said: “We have refused to let live music be silenced, but it cannot survive on energy and optimism alone. Today’s announcement is incredibly important for orchestras and the whole live music sector, threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic. We need, and are grateful for this support as we take our first steps in public performance once more, enabling us to show the full power of our creative community’.

£996,702 for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

£967,413 for the Philharmonia Orchestra.

£650,000 for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

£950,000 for Snape Maltings.

£843,000 for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

£748,000 for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to provide ‘a short, physically distanced programme’ for streaming.

£740,000 for Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra ‘to help it live stream fortnightly concerts from the Bridgewater Hall’.

£961,455 for London’s Young Vic Theatre.

£955,192 for Theatre Royal Bath.

£585,064 for the Hackney Empire to support ‘a new model of responsive programming’.

Half a million for Birmingham Royal Ballet ‘to offset losses’.

£227,147 for St John’s Smith Square.

There were 1,385 lucky receipients. Thousands of other applicants were unsuccessful.


  • UK Arts administrator says:

    And for the thousands of organisations who were unsuccessful, a masterly piece of Arts Council England understatement:
    “I know that this will be disappointing news to receive at a time when you and your colleagues may already be feeling worried about the future”.

    • Judy Evnin says:

      This is so great! I wish the city of New York would follow the example! I listen to live from Wigmore Hall every day!

  • UK Arts manager says:

    And if you were lucky enough to get a grant, here’s what Arts Council England’s website suggests you say:

    [Organisation name] receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

    [Organisation name] has been awarded [grant amount] 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.

    [Organisation name] 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.

    [Section on the specific history of your organisation and how you benefit your local community, audiences and participants, the impact that this funding will make and any reopening plans or plans of activity, if appropriate]

    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.”

    [Organisations representative], said: [Quote]

  • Maybe says:

    “Rishi’s cash” One would think it is!

  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    Awards 518 and 531 are interesting!!

  • Mock Maher says:

    The streamed Wigmore concerts have been (and are) a magnificent gift to us. This past weekend’s series of young artists (with BBC3), some of whom said that they had not played in public since March, was particularly welcome (and uniformly excellent).

  • Little Miss Angry says:

    St.Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square have just been awarded £659,000, part of which is to “rebuild our much-loved music”, which would be lovely, if they had not just thrown out all the ensembles, choirs and hundreds of freelance musicians who had created that “much-loved music” in the first place, over the past 30 years. It is quite frankly obscene and the Heritage Lottery Fund needs to investigate urgently.

  • Stephen Diviani says:

    Great news. The Wigmore’s work to get live music back again has been outstanding. My local theatre, the Orange Tree, has received a grant which will see it through to next spring. Sad for those whose applications were rejected; although it would be interesting to know why. I do know of one theatre which was rejected because they had reserves of £350,000.