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Eight cultural organisations in Oxfordshire share over £1million from emergency Covid fund

River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames © River & Rowing Museum

Kidlington-based Vans For Bands and The Story Museum in Oxford are among them.

Theatres, galleries, performance groups and arts organisations in Oxfordshire have secured emergency covid-recovery funding from the Government - totaling £1,265,615.

The money is being shared by organisations to help them survive, after months of lost income since the pandemic hit.

The River and Rowing Museum in Henley is getting £150,000.

Museum Director Cathy Putz said: "We're absolutely delighted to receive this vital grant for the River & Rowing Museum. This will enable us to protect the Museum's future - growing our invaluable supporter network through an essential CRM system and through investment in the training of our wonderful volunteers.

"We look forward to working closely with our communities - opening our collections wide, sharing more objects and their stories, and together facilitating a community space for wellbeing, creativity, and celebration of the river and the natural world."

The full allocation for Oxfordshire is: 

  • Museum of Oxford £37,755
  • River & Rowing Museum £151,134
  • The Jam Factory Oxford £180,000
  • The Mill Arts Centre £30,146
  • The Mill at Sonning Theatre Ltd £423,580
  • The Story Museum  £85,000
  • Vans For Bands Ltd  £61,000
  • Zippos Circus  £297,000

Vans for Bands is the largest supplier of passenger transportation for live music touring in the UK. During the peak of Covid, it switched to offering up its vehicles as respite for NHS staff.

Tarrant Anderson, Company Director at Vans For Bands said: "The Culture Recovery Fund has kept Vans For Bands Ltd alive through an 18-month shutdown of live music events and onwards through a bumpy reopening.

"Without CRF support, our sector would have lost a key part of the live touring infrastructure - many of the specialist vehicles that make multi-date tours possible. CRF funding has meant that Vans For Bands is still here, after the worst crisis our sector has ever experienced, to help artists of all levels to tour." 

Caroline Jones, CEO of The Story Museum added: "It is a huge relief to all of us at the Story Museum that the Culture Recovery Fund has again chosen to support our work to enrich lives through stories.

"This grant will underpin our creative learning programme over the winter period, enabling us to commission artists to work in co-creation with young people developing their skills and wellbeing; and continue targeted activity with families, schools and communities where stories can have a life-changing impact.

"The funding will also allow us to rebuild our organisational resilience and reserves, both of which have been sorely depleted over the last 20 months."

The Government's Culture Recovery Fund will see £107 million in grants, shared between 925 cultural and creative organisations this winter.

Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, said: "Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they're from.

"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."


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