Viva Blackpool are delighted to announce that confirmation has been received from Arts Council England that it will receive a share of the £257m distributed today to ‘keep alive’ arts and culture during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The grant award was in recognition of various aspects of arts, cultural and community work that Viva Blackpool does – which is often not publicized, but so important nonetheless. It was also recognized that Viva offers year round employment to freelance cast, as well as development opportunities and support – and accessible facilities to local dance schools and organizations.
Martin Heywood, managing director of Viva Blackpool comments “This is most welcome news in these incredibly tough and challenging times, and will help ensure we can keep the Viva Blackpool venue, team and our resident cast ‘in situ’ ready to emerge from the other side of the pandemic, as well as supporting the business through socially distanced performances and events. It’s no secret that we have had a series of financially challenging years before 2019, and just as we were getting back on our feet and posting positive financial results for 2019 when Covid hit us for 6. But this news helps to secures the business until at least March 2021 and provides us with a secure platform for the time being in order to concentrate on the medium and long term, rather than worry about the short term issues which have been damaging and distracting.”
“The grant is very specific on what it can be spent on, and no doubt, we will still be ‘cutting our cloth’ and making changes to our business model – but this grant ensures we can keep our resident cast employed, provide the development and training of our team which also includes secondary career options for our resident cast, whilst allowing us to improve our background resources which includes the appointment of an experienced board to steer us out of the choppy waters into a strong and successful future.”
“It also gives our customers a reassuring message that their booking is safe with us, as we look to continue to open and trade as much as possible – whilst complying with restrictions and ensuring we keep everyone safe’.
“This comes off the back of a settlement deal made earlier this year with Blackpool Council which will see the entire development loan paid back – we are committed to ‘making good’ on our promises to our valued partners, and we appreciate the patience and support that Blackpool Council has given us along the way with Viva Blackpool and we won’t see them short”.
Viva Blackpool would like to publicly thank Scott Benton MP, Carolyn Primett, Mykey Young, the Blackpool Council Economic Development Team, FastForward Growth, Jon Conway, Lindsay Campbell and Gareth Birch at Pannone Corporate LLP for their valued guidance and invaluable support – as well as our loyal customers and staff for their patience and kindness during the last 7 months.
More will be released soon….