- The London Screenwriters’ Festival is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
- This award ensures that the festival will not just survive beyond the pandemic, but will thrive in these uncertain times.
The London Screenwriters’ Festival is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of £42,015 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including the festival, in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.
The London Screenwriters’ Festival is one of the largest events for screenwriters in the world and was poised to run its tenth anniversary event to record breaking attendance in April of 2020 when the pandemic hit. The timing could not have been worse as so much investment and resources had been sunk into an event that could no longer be run, leaving the whole festival vulnerable. This grant secures an exciting and bright future for the festival with plans in place for the postponed LondonSWF’10 to now take place in September 2021.
Over £800 million 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. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
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.”
Chris Jones, founder of the London Screenwriters’ Festival said,
“The pandemic has really brought our festival to its knees. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, the timing could not have been worse for us. We were just weeks away from our biggest event with a huge amount invested.
We managed to pivot online to deliver a free additional event for our delegates, creating what we felt was a world-class month long online festival in May and June 2020. We were excited that we could offer something that provided creative focus, connectivity with others and an an experience that was an enjoyable, positive distraction in the first few terrifying months of lockdown. That said, our future remianed uncertain.
Since then we have worked relentlessly to keep the lights on and energy elevated. We remain determined to return bigger, better, wiser and more inclusive. I cannot begin to express how much this award means to the whole team and we are deeply grateful. It will mean we can continue to serve emerging talent, screenwriters, filmmakers.”
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.”
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Notes to Editors
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk
Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.
At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon.