A WELCOME boost of £56,000 has been granted to Oldham Coliseum Theatre from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
This award will support future productions, both online and on stage, investment in the theatre’s team and opportunities for freelance artists.
The Coliseum, which has been closed since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Susan Wildman, Chief Executive of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, said: “This time last year we could never have envisioned that the Coliseum building would be closed for over a year.
“We’re very proud of the work we have achieved throughout the pandemic; now that reopening is in sight, this further support from the Culture Recovery Fund is very helpful as we work towards welcoming our audiences back into the theatre.”
With a history stretching back over 135 years, Oldham Coliseum Theatre is one of the oldest professional producing theatres in the UK. Its year-round programme of drama, music and comedy includes award-winning in-house productions, a nationally renowned annual pantomime and top comedians, including BGT finalist Steve Royle.
Off-stage, the theatre works with people of all ages and backgrounds from across the borogh’s diverse communities, offering support, training and a safe space to explore their creativity.
Chris Lawson, Artistic Director of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, added: “Culture creates jobs, supports livelihoods and brings joy to everyone; it is paramount in supporting our mental and emotional health.
“The Coliseum is at the heart of Oldham’s community and is a key aspect of Greater Manchester’s cultural offering.
“This continued investment will help us to ensure our theatre recovers from this extended closure and is here for generations to come.”
In October 2020, the Coliseum was awarded £243,000 in round one of the Culture Recovery Fund to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure it has a sustainable future.
More than £800 million in grants and loans was awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations.
The second round of awards will help organisations look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
Despite closing its doors over a year ago due to the pandemic, the Oldham Coliseum has continued to engage with its audiences and participants by producing and sharing great art and opportunities to be creative online and from a safe social distance.
Find out more about Oldham Coliseum on their website.