Covid: Lowestoft theatre scenery company wins government funding

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Image source, Jamie Niblock/BBC
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Scenic Projects managing director Nicholas Garrod said the grant would help keep staff employed

A company that designs and builds stage scenery for theatres across the UK has received government funding to help it recover from the Covid pandemic.

Scenic Projects in Lowestoft, Suffolk, has been granted £200,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The money is designed to help arts organisations survive losses caused by the outbreak.

Scenic Projects' managing director Nicholas Garrod said the grant would help save jobs.

He said the company had had "very little work" for 20 months due to the pandemic.

He said it had 300 shows planned for the rest of 2020 before coronavirus struck.

"But theatre stopped for us, groups stopped getting together and, in fact, they were unable to come together until July of this year," he said.

Mr Garrod said the grant would help the firm continue planned projects and "it will hopefully sustain us through to the spring of 2022 when we are hoping that theatres will be somewhere near normal".

Image source, Jamie Niblock/BBC
Image caption,
Mr Garrod said the company had 20 months of "very little work" due to the pandemic
Image source, Guy Campbell/BBC
Image caption,
Mr Garrod said the firm had 300 shows planned before the coronavirus outbreak

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced 925 cultural and creative organisations nationally were to receive a share of £107m in grants and loans as part of the funding scheme.

Among those were 51 organisations from the East of England, including Norwich Puppet Theatre and Colchester's Mercury Theatre.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said: "Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people."

Image source, Guy Campbell/BBC
Image caption,
Mr Garrod said he hoped the funding would help sustain the company until at least the spring

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