Funding boost for city’s cultural sector
Some of Liverpool’s much-loved cultural organisations have received a funding lifeline which will create jobs, attract visitors and boost the local economy.
Today (Friday 4 March), Cabinet has given the green light to award £2.712 million to 27 cultural organisations as part of the Culture & Arts Investment Programme (CAIP). The city council funding will be invested in theatre, music events, festivals, visual arts and neighbourhood programmes that are representative of, and engage with, Liverpool’s diverse communities.
This means that the vital sector – which boosts the local economy by around £30 million – has experienced no reduction in city council funding and can move forward with delivering events, exhibitions and shows which will help them recover and aim to get back to operating at pre-pandemic levels.
Latest figures presented as part of the Cabinet report show just how hard-hit the city’s art scene was by Covid-19. In 2019/20 the funded organisations reached an audience of 2.7 million, dropping to just over 260,000 in 2020/21. Last year, recovery was slow but venues attracted around 1 million visitors.
During the height of the pandemic the economic impact dropped by almost £5 million and nearly 100 jobs were lost.
Those organisations receiving funding for 2022/23 are:
20 Stories High, Africa Oyé, The Black-E, Collective Encounters, Comedy Trust, DaDa Disability & Deaf Arts, FACT, First Take, Homotopia, Liverpool Irish Festival, Liverpool Biennial, Everyman & Playhouse (LMTT), Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, Metal Culture, Milapfestival Trust, Merseyside Dance initiative, Open Culture, Open Eye Limited, Pagoda Arts, Royal Court Theatre, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Squash Nutrition, Tate Liverpool, The Bluecoat, Tmesis Theatre, Unity Theatre, Writing on the Wall
The CAIP programme contributes to a number of priorities outlined in the Council Plan which aims to make the city culturally diverse, internationally ambitious, empowered and authentic.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle said:
“It goes without saying how valued culture and arts are in Liverpool and I am proud that we are able to invest in organisations which help drive economic growth, boost community pride and promote wellbeing across the city.
“Each of the 27 organisations play a vital role in the cultural fabric of our city – the programmes they curate, events they hold and performances they stage are engaging, entertaining, thought-provoking, boundary-pushing – exactly what Liverpool is renowned for.
“We know that Covid decimated this sector and we want to do as much as we can to help it revive and thrive. It’s an exciting new chapter for the arts in Liverpool and the sector is are ready to welcome back visitors and showcase exceptional talent in an exceptional city.”
Mary Cloake, Chief Executive of the Bluecoat, said:
“Liverpool has demonstrated that it really understands the power of culture to connect communities and inspire individuals. This funding means that culture will remain central to the city’s identity and its post-pandemic recovery. It will ensure the Bluecoat can play its part by providing a creative home for art and artists, for the people of Liverpool and its visitors.”
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, said:
“Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is enormously grateful for the continued long term support and commitment shown by Liverpool City Council with its funding of culture. This support will help us to reach over 350,000 people with our concerts, over 70,000 young people making music in our learning programme and youth activity, and literally millions around the world through our recordings. We are proud to both serve and represent our city in our work, and we can only do it with this investment and support from Liverpool City Council.”
Mark Da Vanzo, Chief Executive Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres, said:
“Since 2008, Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, there has been an increasing sense of pride and support for our city’s cultural organisations and individuals. We simply would not be the organisation we are today without the continued support of the city through the city council’s Culture Liverpool team. The fact that this support has been maintained through recent unprecedented times is testament to the hard work of our councillors and officials and the value the people of Liverpool place in culture.”
Image: Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in Sefton Park Palm House back in 2019 ©AB Photography