Sheffield based Utopia Theatre received a grant of £34,817 from the Government’s £1.57 billion
Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.
More than £300 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country
including Utopia Theatre in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture
Secretary announced today.
Utopia Theatre prides itself on being a leading voice in African Theatre, particularly in the digital
space. Over the past year, as a response to the COVID-19 restrictions, Utopia quickly moved its work
online. The grant received from the Culture Recovery Fund grant will allow the organisation to
expand this digital work as well as integrate it with Utopia’s work in physical theatre spaces. This will
all work towards the goal of further connecting with their community and creatives to continue to
create high-quality African Theatre.
Mojisola Elufowoju, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Utopia Theatre said:
“We are delighted, relieved and extremely grateful. I’d like to express sincere gratitude to the
Chancellor and HM Treasury, the Culture Secretary and DCMS, Arts Council England and the
countless others who have played a role in securing this vital lifeline for our industry.
The Culture Recovery Fund is securing the future of Utopia Theatre, helping us through these
challenging times and ensuring that we can continue engaging with diverse theatre-makers,
communities and participants in the short to medium term and for years to come. This support means that we can keep theatre alive and nourish our communities while we navigate our way
through the pandemic.”
Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas,
performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the
immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and
summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain
the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations
transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and
heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their
doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping
the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres,
concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin
making new work.
We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount
importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”
The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the
Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture
changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and
National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.