The City of Edinburgh Council

09/29/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/29/2020 08:24

Edinburgh’s Usher Hall receives funding from the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Edinburgh's Usher Hall has received a total of £240,450 from the Scottish Government's Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund through Creative Scotland.

Fifty-nine venues across Scotland have received a total of £4.74million following an open call for applications to the fund, which was created to support performing arts venues that cannot yet re-open due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Edinburgh, the £240,450 will be used to support staff to return from furlough and work on future planning. This will allow the venue to pay artists and freelance staff to do some creative work around the existing programme and enable the team to undertake some audience development work to keep in touch with audiences as restrictions continue.

Culture and Communities Convener Donald Wilson said:

This is fantastic news and goes some way towards helping us as we tackle the challenges facing our culture venues due to the ongoing pandemic. This fund will help as we continue to develop and deliver activity in our performance venues as soon as we are able to as well as support continued public engagement with our valued audience while we remain closed.

Our core focus for this funding will be on working towards re-opening the Usher Hall, with some cultural activity also being potentially possible in the Churchill Theatre and in the Assembly Rooms where we could potentially film/stream concerts and activities or host live events with physical distancing measures in place.
'I was also very happy to see that the Festival and Kings Theatres, the Roxy, Leith Theatre, Out of the Blue and the Queens Hall were also announced as recipients further helping the Culture sector/scene in the Capital.

Culture and Communities Vice Convener Amy McNeese-Mechan added:

We very much welcome this announcement and will use our funding to bring our skilled production and front of house staff back from furlough as we plan a phased re-opening of our performance venues and undertake marketing and engagement work with our existing audiences. This is important as concert seasons don't just happen overnight and need plenty of advanced planning.

While we look forward to the day that we are once again open, there is no doubt things will be forever changed and this funding helps us explore future paths for the venue and integrate new kinds of activity the venue can provide. We are grateful for this fund and the role it's playing towards the safeguarding of the sector.

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said:

Despite the ongoing, detrimental impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Scotland's performing arts venues, and on culture as a whole, it is positive that we can offer some funding to help venues navigate these extremely challenging times. I'm also encouraged to see that this funding will help venues across many different parts of Scotland where they form such an important part of the cultural life of local communities.