Delight as South Shields venue The Customs House receives vital £125,000 funding boost to help it survive covid pandemic
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The much-loved Mill Dam theatre and arts venue received £255,000 through the first tranche of the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund in 2020.
Ray Spencer, the executive director at the Customs House, told The Gazette in December that a further funding boost was needed in order to ensure the establishment could survive 2021.
It is now due to receive a further £125,000 in the second round of funding announced today.
This cash grant will contribute towards building costs that will enable the venue to restart its work with Youth Theatre Groups and radio plays.
“We are incredibly grateful for this grant which will allow us to open the house to all the community to take part, watch and create great art,” Mr Spencer said.
Reacting to the news, Customs House Fellow and Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall, said: “The Customs House has a special place in my heart so I'm really delighted this grant will help secure its future.
"It's so important for South Tyneside and it’s wonderful to see our arts centres being able to work towards opening again.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced details of 2,700 organisations nationwide that are being offered nearly £400million in grants and loans to help the culture sector reopen and recover.
The Customs House is one of a number of arts organisations in the North East that will benefit from the new cash boost to the sector, with the Cultural Recovery Fund having now given out £1.57 billion in support grants.
More than £16million has been awarded to arts organisations in the North East as part of the latest round of funding, adding to the £27 million allocated last year.
Other key venues in the North East that will benefit from the fresh funding injection include Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, which will receive £137,400 to go towards maintenance costs, as well as local film theatres like Jar Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay (£60,021) and the volunteer-run Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle (£13,677).