The East of England Arena and Events Centre has been awarded of £300,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). However, the venue’s director has called on the Government to do more to help the wider events industry.
The venue, located near Peterborough, is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving support.
Venue director Jason Lunn described the fund as a “lifeline” and added that the venue had seen business reduce by 95% with the majority of further events prevented from taking place. “This allows us to keep the lights on and prepare for reopening in full next year. I am pleased to see interest from many shows wanting to come to us later in 2021 and 2022 however the end of this pandemic cannot come soon enough,” said Lunn.
However, he added that while the fund for the venue was welcome, more help is needed for vast eco-system of suppliers which support the £84bn events industry.
“We are grateful for this, but we call on the Government to review available support for the wider events industry,” he added. “The ecosystem of suppliers and service providers contribute towards the UK’s £84bn events industry and we must work towards their survival. Some of our partners have received no support whatsoever and it heartbreaking to see trusted and long-standing suppliers treated this way.
“The Government must now take this industry more seriously than it has done so far.”
In a widely circulated statement, culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations. These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England added that the latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. He hinted that more support might be forthcoming, without elaborating on specifics. He said: “We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”